Posted on May 16, 2015
Qatar's index was the top performer in the Middle East region for a second day in a row, climbing 1.2 percent as property developer Ezdan Holding surged its daily 10 percent limit and Qatar Insurance (QI) rose 7.4 percent. Index compiler MSCI had added both stocks to its emerging markets index for the first time on Tuesday, surprising some analysts who said the move may have to be reversed because the stocks lack liquidity.
 
Brokerage VTB Capital has estimated that index inclusion will result in passive fund inflows of $59 million into Ezdan and $26 million into QI. Active inflows could be more than seven times greater. The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) benchmark index gained 148.94 points when the bourse closed trading at 12,515.86 points on Thursday. Indices of four sectors declined and three gained. From the 43 listed companies, 17 advanced, 22 declined and four remained unchanged.
 
Meanwhile, other GCC markets also continued their upward movement on Thursday to digest index compiler MSCI's semi-annual review which was positive for most Gulf markets. Saudi Arabia's main index edged up 0.6 percent as blue-chip lenders Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank rose 2.4 and 1.5 percent respectively. Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries jumped 2.2 percent even as oil prices swung between gain and loss on worries about global economic growth.

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, whose weighting in MSCI's index was increased, climbed 1.3 percent and was the main support for the emirate's bourse, which edged up 0.3 percent. Developer Aldar Properties rose 0.4 percent after it posted a 36 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on lower costs and strong earnings from its rental business. The company made 618 million dirhams ($168.3 million) in the quarter, while SICO Bahrain had forecast a profit of 509 million dirhams.
 
Dubai's index lagged, inching up just 0.1 percent as construction companies Drake and Scull International (DSI) and Arabtec fell 3 and 1.2 percent. DSI reported a 38 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday, missing an analyst's estimate as revenue fell, and it warned that difficulties in Saudi Arabia would affect its performance this year.
 
source: Qatar Tribune

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