UAE markets see thin volumes in year-end trading

‘It’s been very slow with last week rounding out a flat session,’ said Ahmed Waheed, the vice president of institutional trading at Menacorp. ‘Volumes are thin and we’re not seeing the big numbers like we saw at the beginning of the month.’

LeAnne Graves

December 25, 2016

Updated: December 25, 2016 04:00 AM

 

UAE markets are seeing thin volumes as the holidays and end-of-year portfolio reviews keep investors on hold.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index on Sunday rose by just 0.05 per cent to 4,439.17, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index was up by 0.23 per cent to 3,525.35 at the close.

“It’s been very slow with last week rounding out a flat session,” said Ahmed Waheed, the vice president of institutional trading at Menacorp. “Volumes are thin and we’re not seeing the big numbers like we saw at the beginning of the month.”

He said the market was dominated by retail clients looking for trading opportunities such as Union Properties. The company holds assets including Dubai’s Motor City and chiller warehouse space and saw its shares rise 3.6 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi, Etisalat rose on the news that it ended its management agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, opting to forego the contract renewal when it expired at the end of last week. The shares gained 0.5 per cent.

Banks were prominent among laggards on the ADX, accounting for three of the six stocks that lost ground on the day. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 0.9 per cent, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was down 0.8 per cent and First Gulf Bank lost 0.4 per cent.

The holiday season has meant that local markets are missing international players, while institutional clients have not been active as they evaluate portfolios ahead of the new year. “Everyone is looking for 2017 and the end-of-year results – after that, maybe we’ll see movement,” Mr Waheed said.​

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