Middle East stockmarkets firmed on Thursday, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) rising on news of a major loan and Egyptian shares climbing on the prospect of Cairo receiving $1 billion from the World Bank.
Ma’aden were up 3.9 percent by 0943 GMT after local, regional and international banks committed to a 11.5 billion riyal ($3.1 billion) loan for its phosphate business, replacing existing debt on more favourable terms.
Riyadh’s Tadawul index rose 1.1 percent to 7,032.70 points, heading for a third session of gains in the four days since it hit a two-year low on Sunday.
A marginal recovery in oil prices helped lift Saudi petrochemical shares. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) gained 1.5 percent.
UAE markets also rose, driven by buying in stocks usually targeted by retail traders. Dubai contractor Arabtec jumped 4.4 percent, trimming year-to-date losses to 57.4 percent.
Dubai’s benchmark climbed 2.16 percent to 3,249.59 points, heading for its third gain since Sunday’s 11-month low.
“There are broad-based buying opportunities, but stock selection is becoming key,” Hootan Yazhari, head of MENA and Frontier Markets Equity Research at BofA Merrill Lynch, said in a report about shares that have become attractive after a sharp correction during the summer.
“We retain our bias for markets with robust macro, attractive valuations, consistent earnings delivery and/or superior earnings growth,” he added, mentioning UAE as the firm’s top regional pick.
Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties and Eshraq Properties added 1.3 and 1.96 percent respectively, while Dana Gas climbed 5 percent.
In Kuwait, logistic firm Agility added 2 percent after its chief executive said the company plans to raise $1 billion in debt to fund future growth.
Egyptian shares rose across the board after the World Bank said it expected to make a $1 billion development policy loan available to the country next month. It said the loan could be the first of three under a three-year programme.
Cairo’s benchmark index rose 2.2 percent, recovering from Tuesday’s near-two-year low.
Egyptian sentiment was hammered in recent weeks by security concerns. These were exacerbated after a bomb, claimed by Islamic State, brought down a Russian airliner in Sinai on Oct. 31 and killed all 224 people aboard.
Despite local worries, foreign investors have taken the opportunity to buy shares at their recent lows, contributing to the recovery.