Source:  www.arabianbusiness.com

Arabian Gulf Shares rose, sending Dubai’s gauge up the most in a month, on optimism Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s pledge to step down will help quell protests that entered a ninth day.

STOCK WATCH: Arabian Gulf Shares rose, sending Dubai’s gauge up the most in a month (Getty Images)
STOCK WATCH: Arabian Gulf Shares rose, sending Dubai’s gauge up the most in a month (Getty Images)

Emaar Properties, builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper with a unit in the North African country, gained the most since September. Dubai Islamic Bank advanced 3.2 percent after Fitch Ratings assigned the lender a long-term foreign currency issuer rating of A.

The DFM General Index jumped 2.2 percent, the most since January 2, to 1,577.11 at 11:58 am. in Dubai. The measure extended gains after Yemen’s president said he won’t seek another term. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index climbed 0.4 percent, rising the first time in nine days.

Mubarak’s speech offered a “clearer picture in terms of the political reading regionally; the markets had overreacted before,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive officer of Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai. “We expect minimal impact on the micro level. It’s a matter of days before the dust settles.”

Mubarak said he won’t run for another term and would make way for a new leader in presidential elections in September, a concession rejected by opposition leaders and protesters who refuse to wait months for an end to his regime. Mubarak said he’ll stay on to ensure “stability” and push through political and economic changes before his departure.

The President last week appointed Omar Suleiman, head of Egypt’s intelligence services, as his vice president. Egypt’s bourse, which has been closed all week, will decide whether to open on a day-by-day basis, the exchange’s communications manager, Hisham Turk, said yesterday.

Emaar increased as much as 3.9 percent to AED3.22. The company’s Egyptian unit, Emaar Misr for Development, has investments of about AED29bn ($8bn) in the North African country, according to its website.

Dubai Islamic, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank complying with Shariah banking rules, rose the most since Dec. 6 to 2.24 dirhams. Fitch assigned the bank with a stable outlook citing its “strong franchise, earnings power and satisfactory liquidity position” and the likelihood of support from the U.A.E. government if needed.

The unprecedented protests, which followed a revolt in Tunisia that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14, have left more than 100 people dead in Egypt and roiled international stock, bond and oil markets. Unrest has spread to Jordan, where King Abdullah sacked his prime minister yesterday, and other countries including Yemen and Algeria.

Egypt’s measure tumbled 16 percent last week. Egypt Finance Minister Samir Radwan said banks will reopen either tomorrow or February 6.

Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index jumped 0.6 percent, while Bahrain’s BB All Share Index was little changed. Qatar’s QE Index gained 0.3 percent, Kuwait’s SE Price Index increased 0.1 percent and Oman’s MSM30 rose 0.5 percent.

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