4 Min Read
* TAQA up again in high vole on land, higher capex
* Dubai firms and in slightly higher volumes
* Egypt follows global shares up
* Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar underperform
By Celine Aswad
DUBAI, April 3 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Middle East diverged on Monday with Dubai and Egypt's index outperforming their peers while shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy soared again on investors' optimism that the company had turned a corner.
Shares of Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 9.6 percent in a second day of unusually heavy trade. On Sunday its shares had surged their 15 percent daily limit.
TAQA said it had secured land from its top shareholder valued at 18.7 billion dirhams ($5.1 billion), and had increased its capital expenditure in 2017. The increase will be self-funded by cash generated by the business said the company's spokesman.
"This is the biggest clean up the company is seeing and going forward those assets – the land – will bring revenues and be converted into profits," said Mohammed Yasin, head of NBAD Securities.
"The restructuring that has happened has given investors comfort that the government is supporting the company due to its losses in oil and gas," Yasin added.
Last week TAQA reported a 2016 loss of 18.55 billion dirhams, largely fuelled by 16.9 billion dirhams post-tax impairment related to its oil and gas assets.
The index rose 0.4 percent and volumes stayed at the low levels they have been trading in over the last several weeks.
Dubai's index climbed 1.4 percent in the highest daily volumes in three weeks. The benchmark had been trading in a narrow range for most of March, and volumes had been dwindling for the last 10 sessions as most institutional investors lacked reasons to allocate funds.
On Monday, 25 shares rose while only five declined; Union Properties climbed 2.5 percent and the most traded share for a second day in a row. Other small and mid sized shares also outperformed.
Egypt's index rebounded 1.2 percent, following global shares higher. Two-thirds of shares listed on that index rose and foreign institutional investors were net buyers, exchange data showed.
Juhayna Food Industries added 1.5 percent. On Sunday a local daily paper said, citing company spokesman, the dairy maker had started operations in its new farm in the west of Egypt. The area is 10,000 feddans (10,380 acres), with investments reaching 600 million Egyptian pounds ($33.1 million).
Alongside its current products, the new facility will also be making a new milk product. The output capacity and financial impact were not stated.
Kuwait's index, which has been one the best performing stock markets in the world since the start of the year, fell 0.3 percent to 6,999 points but closed 65 points above its intra-day low.
Kuwait Food Co lost 2.3 percent but hospital manager Al Mowasat Healthcare, which had slumped as much as 6.8 percent earlier in the day as its shares went ex-dividend, rebounded 4.1 percent.
Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.3 percent in slightly lower liquidity than the previous session. Number of declining shares outnumbered advancing ones 101 to 44.
Domestic-focused shares were some of the main underperformers, with apparel retailer and mall operator Fawaz Alhokair, the worst performer on Monday, dropping 3.0 percent.
Qatar's index closed down 0.5 percent as a little over half of the 20 blue chip shares declining. Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan was the main laggard, dropping 3.0 percent.
* The index edged down 0.3 percent to 6,968 points.
* The index added 1.4 percent to 3,539 points.
* The index edged up 0.4 percent to 4,467 points.
* The index fell 0.5 percent to 10,344 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 6,999 points.
* The index rebounded 1.2 percent to 13,061 points.
* The index climbed 1.1 percent to 5,597 points.
* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 1,348 points. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 18.1500 Egyptian pounds)
Additional reporting Stanley Carvalho in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Jon Boyle