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Gulf markets end positively as region breaks for Eid


Gulf Arab markets all end in positive territory as the region closes down for the long Eid holiday, with Qatar Telecom's bid for the remaining shares it doesn't hold in Kuwait's Wataniya driving growth on the Doha bourse.

August 19, 2012 8:05 by

Having announced at the end of June its desire to buy the outstanding 47.5 percent of the Kuwaiti telco’s share capital, Qtel said on Thursday it had received regulatory approval for the bid.


Under the terms outlined in the statement, Qtel will offer 2.6 dinars per share, valuing the stake at 622.4 million dinars ($2.2 billion). The offer price is a 22.6 percent premium to Wataniya’s share price on June 21, the day it lodged the bid with Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority.


Wataniya’s shares last traded on June 25, closing at 2.2 dinars, although they would resume trading on Aug. 22, according to a bourse statement.


Investors responded positively to the news of the offer details, sending Qtel’s shares up 3.3 percent in their largest one-day gain since May 10. The Qatar benchmark drew strength from Qtel’s gain, advancing 0.8 percent.


“Wataniya is very strong fundamentally so it should benefit Qtel,” said one Dubai-based trader, who declined to be named.


Egypt’s main index rose 0.9 percent, extending gains to five sessions, as signs of greater political stability and foreign help for the country’s creaking economy lured more buyers into the market.


“We are in the most stable period post-revolution after the aggressive military reshuffle diminished the risk of a power struggle,” said Ahmed Abu Taleb of Pharos Securities. “It makes any kind of investor more confident he can hold positions without any surprises.”


OTMT climbed 1.8 percent after main owner Naguib Sawiris sold a stake in Russia’s Vimpelcom for $3.6 billion.


Kuwait’s bourse ticked up 0.1 percent, extending its winning run to four sessions, defying fears the previous day’s government decision to ask the country’s top court to rule on law changes which threatened further political friction would send the exchange down.


Low volumes – only four days in 2012 saw fewer shares traded – helped contain any fallout from Wednesday’s move.


In Abu Dhabi, the index sustained gains for an eighth successive session, climbing 0.7 percent to its highest close since March 26. Its main support was Etisalat, which rose 2.1 percent.


Elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai exchange edged up 0.1 percent.


In Oman, the index rose 0.02 percent, thereby narrowly extending its winning streak to seven sessions.


Bank Sohar shares were suspended from trading until additional clarification is provided on the cut-off date for its rights issues, according to the Omani Capital Markets Authority.


The bank is looking to increase its capital through the issuance of 100 million shares at the par value of 0.1 rials ($0.26) per share.


Gulf bourses will be closed for the early part of next week to mark Eid Al Fitr, the end of the Muslim month of fasting.

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