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Dubai stock index crosses 3,000 for first time in 5 years

DUBAI: Dubai’s bourse closed above 3,000 points for the first time in five years on Thursday as investors repositioned into stocks ahead of earnings and dividend season, while Egypt’s bourse rallied on prospects of fresh investment inflows.
Dubai index climbed 0.9 percent to 3,013 points, its highest close since October 2008.
“The positive moves come after a couple days of consolidation, which created opportunities for people to position into select stocks going into year-end,” said Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments.
Shares in Union Properties rose 1.9 percent, extending year-to-date gains to 165.8 percent. Emaar Properties climbed 1.6 percent and contractor Arabtec added 1.2 percent.
“People are now playing on strong fourth-quarter earnings and dividends. Turnover should go above 1 billion dirhams ($272.26 million) to make investors more comfortable with the uptrend,” Shurrab added.
Market turnover was 672 million dirhams for the session.
Abu Dhabi’s measure climbed 0.2 percent to its highest close since the Aug.25 five-year peak.
Dana Gas was one of the biggest index movers, rising 3.2 percent, after Egypt promised to pay $1.5 billion of the $6 billion it says it owes foreign oil companies including the Sharjah firm.
Some investors also think the firm may start importing natural gas from Iran after a contract delay of over 10 years.
Iran’s foreign minister visited UAE on Wednesday, hoping to improve trade ties after Tehran’s deal with world powers that may see sanctions relief if it cuts back on its nuclear development activities.
In Egypt, Cairo’s benchmark index climbed 0.8 percent in its third straight gain.
Tycoon Naguib Sawiris on Wednesday pledged to spend $1 billion in Egypt during the first quarter of 2014.
Sawiris, whose family controls the Orascom corporate empire, was speaking at an investment conference pitched at Gulf Arab states and businessmen, where Egypt officials sought to allay concerns ranging from legal uncertainty to the foreign currency black market.
“We’ve had some positive statements coming from officials, which provide the necessary environment to attract investment on a private level,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities.
Heavyweight Commercial International Bank climbed 2.2 percent after a downward price adjustment from a bonus share issue attracted retail investors.
Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s benchmark climbed 0.2 percent, Qatar’s index rose 0.5 percent and Kuwait’s measure added 0.4 percent.