The Abu Dhabi bourse announced that the United Arab Emirates has met all requirements for an MSCI emerging market upgrade, but this failed to boost investor hopes as UAE indexes slumped Thursday, Reuters reported.
Dubai’s index ended 0.7 percent lower at 1,607 percent, hitting a three-week low, while property stocks weighed on Abu Dhabi’s index.
Property giants Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate dropped 2.5 and 1.4 percent respectively. Emaar Properties also slipped by 1.5 percent.
“There isn’t a lot of consensus on the direction of the market, that’s why there is volatility,” Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments, told Reuters.
“The MSCI announcement is the main reason why the market is seeing interest from local investors. They are looking to benefit from the re-balancing,” he added.
UAE and Qatar, currently classified as frontier markets, are under a second review in June to obtain emerging market status in the MSCI index. The MSCI index classifies six of the Gulf's seven bourses.
Meanwhile, Muscat’s index lifted today, adding a fractional 0.1 percent to 6,339 points.
Oman International Investment Co gained 1.6 percent as positive sentiment from investors weighed. Investors were upbeat on the possible listing of Oman International Investment Co. unit Oman Arab Bank, Reuters reported.
In Kuwait, the benchmark added 0.3 percent to 6,516 points, recovering declines of past two sessions as small capital stocks drove Kuwait's index to the higher close.
Al Safwa Group and Abyaar Real Estate rose 2.6 and 4.2 percent respectively.
The Kuwaiti government has said it will soon announce a new cabinet after three ministers resigned over questioning. But traders said that the country’s recent political turbulence would not affect the market.
(Eman El Shenawi of Al Arabiya can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)