Gulf to consolidate with firm bias, Arabtec may buoy Dubai
The Saudi Arabian stock market
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DUBAI: Gulf markets look set to consolidate with a firm bias on Tuesday after oil prices edged up overnight, while a change of management at builder Arabtec may buoy Dubai.

Confirming a Reuters story published late on Monday, Arabtec said on Tuesday that its board had accepted the resignation of acting chief executive Mohamed al-Fahim and appointed board member Saeed al-Mehairbi in his place.

The company gave no reason and it is not clear how the loss-making firm will resolve the financial pressures on it, but investors may buy the stock – often Dubai’s most heavily traded – on the hope that the change heralds a fresh effort to strengthen Arabtec.

In Saudi Arabia, the market may continue reacting to news that the cabinet has decided to impose an annual 2.5 percent fee on undeveloped urban land designated for residential or commercial use, in an effort to deter hoarding of land and resolve a shortage of affordable housing.

However, the news came out in trading hours on Monday so the market appears largely to have factored in the tax. Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan dropped 2.3 percent on Monday – some investors fear the value of the company’s land bank could decrease as a result of the tax – while builder Al-Khodari , which could benefit if housing construction increases, added 1.4 percent.

In Egypt, poultry producers such as Cairo Poultry, Egypt Poultry and Mansoura Poultry may attract interest after the government said it would stick with buying its poultry domestically, turning its back completely on international tenders, after pressure from local producers.

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