UAE stock markets edge up to multi-year high

25 April 2014

Xinhua, Dubai :
The stock exchange in Dubai and Abu Dhabi edged up to multi-year highs Wednesday despite overall weak Asian and European markets as United Arab Emirates (UAE) banks reported sold profit growth for the first quarter.
On Monday, the Dubai financial market general index crossed the resistance level at 5,000 points, a first in six years.  Additional buying power on Wednesday lifted the gauge to 5,134 points amid record-high trading volumes.
Its sister exchange ADX in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, edged up by 69 per cent in the last 12 months, while the Dubai bourse gained 160 percent in the same period.
The positive momentum was fueled in recent days by strong corporate results of UAE blue chip firms. Earlier on Monday, Dubai-based Emaar, the biggest developer in the Middle East by market capitalization, said here on Tuesday it posted in the first three months 2014 a net income of 863 million Dirham or 235 million dollars, a 55 per cent increase year on year, mostly boosted by its retail and hospitality business.
Emaar shares advanced by 104 percent in the last year of trading. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank said on Tuesday it recorded in the first quarter a net profit of 1.1 billion Dirham or 300 million dollar, up by 22 percent over the same period last year.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank said it achieved in the first three months a net income increase of 20.4 per cent year on year on net profits, amounting to 409.5 million Dirham or 11.67 million dollars.
The shares of both lenders are up by 88 percent and 143 percent, respectively, in the last 12 months. "Lenders in the UAE cleaned up their balance sheets after the global financial crisis, they wrote down some assets and they reap now the benefits from the economic recovery in the region," said Dr.  George T. Abed, the managing director for African and the Middle East at the Washington-based Institute of International Finance.
Debates over the sustainability of the current stock market boom remain hot in the Gulf state and elsewhere.

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