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Dubai index at highest in over 2 years; Saudi dips

  • Emaar considers sale of e-commerce business Namshi - sources
  • ADQ withdraws offer to combine ADNH with exhibitions co
  • Agthia's board approves acquisition of snacks group BMB
Published September 1, 2021
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Dubai's stocks closed at their highest level in over two years on Wednesday, bolstered by gains in real estate shares, while the Saudi index ended three sessions of gains ahead of the OPEC+ meet.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.5%, with its biggest listed property firm Emaar properties rising 1.4%, while its unit Emaar Malls, operator of glitzy Middle East shopping centers, advanced 1.9%.

Emaar Properties is weighing options to sell fashion e-commerce business Namshi that may include a listing abroad via a SPAC, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

An outright sale of Namshi may generate $600 million to $700 million in proceeds, while a listing through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) could be more lucrative, said one of the sources.

Saudi market shrugs off China data as most Gulf bourses retreat

SPACs are not permitted on UAE bourses, encouraging companies to seek out alternative venues.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.1% in a choppy trade, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.5% and Saudi Telecom Company down 0.9%.

"The Saudi stock market has seen volatile trading today ahead of OPEC's meeting. The Tadawul remained divided regarding the development of the oil market," said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist from Exness.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, are set to meet at 1500 GMT. OPEC+ has raised its forecast for oil-demand next year, sources within the group told Reuters, in a move that might help to build a case for raising output.

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.5%, dragged down by a 0.6% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Abu Dhabi National Hotels declined over 6%.

Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ has withdrawn an offer to combine Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company (ADNH) with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).

Elsewhere, shares of food and beverages company Agthia Group were down 6%, a day after they surged 8.9%.

Agthia has approved a deal to take a 100% indirect stake in confectionery and healthy foods maker BMB Group, the latest in a string of acquisitions.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index finished 1.2% higher, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including Commercial International Bank.

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