|01-08-2015, 03:54 PM||#1|
Middle East shares add more gains as oil rebounds
Stock markets in the Gulf added more gains on Thursday, with oil prices slightly recovering from Wednesday’s low and amid a number of positive announcement s from large companies.
Brent crude futures traded above $51 a barrel on Thursday, buoyed from data that showed a fall in U.S. oil stockpiles after falling below $50 a barrel on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia’s main index, the Tadawul All Share Index, climbed 2.0% with most shares soaring higher.
Banque Saudi Fransi’s board recommended a cash dividend of SAR0.5 per share for the second half of 2014. Note that the bank had paid not dividend in the same period in 2013, and analysts had expected a dividend of SAR0.16 only. Shares gained 1.3%
Saudi British bank (SABB) surged 2.0% after obtaining approval for a bonus share issue that will increase its capital by 50% to SAR15 billion ($4 billion).
Dubai advanced 2.05% and Abu Dhabi gained 1.22%. Shares in the stock market operator soared 7% after the United Arab Emirates economy minister Sultan Al-Mansouri said the government would prefer a merger between the Dubai and the Abu Dhabi stock markets, but added that the decision was up to the bourses themselves.
The Qatar Exchange rose 3.42%, boosted by Gulf International Services, which jumped 5% after its board recommended a higher dividend for 2014 than the previous year, and after the company said its business was not affected by oil prices.
The Kuwait bourse and the Oman bourse both added around 1%.
Regional stock markets are expected to continue seeing volatility, at least for the short term, but equities should get a boost from this period of dividend announcements.
The fluctuations in oil prices will continue to be reflected on the performance of Gulf bourses, until a sustainable rebound is found.
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