Major Middle East stock markets moved largely sideways on Tuesday with little positive news to spur buying, although GFH Financial continued surging in Dubai after disclosing details of its business strategy. In contrast to recent days, Saudi Arabia’s index spent almost the entire day higher, closing up 0.3 percent.
Since the beginning of last week, the market had traded lower for most of the day before rebounding towards the close as state-linked funds bought shares, apparently as part of a deliberate market-support operation designed to prevent panic.
Alujain rebounded 2.9 percent after sinking 9.7 percent in its heaviest trade this year, when it resumed trading after being suspended since August because of a delay in reporting earnings. Another petrochemical firm, Chemanol, jumped its 10 percent daily limit in its heaviest trade since early 2015.
Two major stocks linked to tycoons detained in the anti-graft crackdown—Kingdom Holding and Al Tayyar Travel— barely moved as trading volumes in them shrank, which suggested investors were no longer dumping the stocks out of concern over the companies’ viability.
In Dubai, the index rose 0.3 percent as the most heavily traded stock, GFH Financial, added 4.6 percent.
GFH had climbed 6.3 percent after the company said it had swung to a third-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss, exited real estate portfolios in Bahrain and the United States, would invest in the education sector, and planned to acquire a financial institution in the Gulf.
Dubai Investments, an affiliate of Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund, gained 4.2 percent in unusually heavy trade. Union Properties closed flat after posting a third-quarter loss of 45 million dirhams ($12.3 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 32.3 million dirhams, mainly blaming the managed wind-down of Thermo LLC, a subsidiary that did contracting work.
Egypt’s index barely moved. Dice Sport, which rarely trades, shot up 230 percent to 23.60 Egyptian pounds after Qalaa Holdings said it had sold its indirect stake in Dice through a public and private offer in the exchange’s secondary market for about 300 million Egyptian pounds ($17 million).