DUBAI, March 2 Stock markets in the Gulf may be
buoyed by a strong tone among global bourses on Thursday, while
Dubai builder Arabtec could attract interest after it
released an investor presentation on its recovery plan.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
is up 0.6 percent after the Dow Jones Industrial
Average blasted through the 21,000-point mark for the
first time on Wednesday, gaining 1.5 percent.
Gulf markets have lagged international bourses in recent
weeks but the strong global environment may still have an impact
Futures prices now show an 80 percent chance of a U.S.
Federal reserve interest rate hike in March; this may be seen as
positive for banks in the Gulf, as their net interest margins
could expand, and negative for real estate developers.
Arabtec, which in mid-February posted a net loss of about
2.95 billion dirhams ($803 million), released a presentation
outlining a three-phase recovery plan - stabilisation in 2017,
preparation in 2018 and growth in 2019 - and predicting its core
Gulf markets would rebound in coming years.
The presentation does not include detailed financial data,
but some investors may be pleased by the extent of the
Index compiler FTSE Russell released details of the second
half of Qatar's transition to Secondary Emerging Market status,
which will occur on March 19.
The weights of most Qatari stocks in FTSE's index will
double, which Arqaam Capital calculates will bring passive fund
inflows of about $345 million. However, Aamal's weight
will only increase to 28 percent from 20 percent because of
shareholding limits, FTSE said, while Qatari Investors Group's
weighting will not change because it failed a headroom
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)