Dubai shares at 5-year high

Dubai shares at 5-year high Issac John / 26 August 2013 Led by two leading property developers, Dubai shares jumped to the highest since November 2008 on Sunday. The benchmark Dubai DFM General Index surged 1.8 per cent to a five-year high to 2,748.27 points at the close as Deyaar Development and Union Properties surged amid a significant bounce back in property prices over the past few months in Dubai. In the first half of 2013, a stead upswing in Dubai property prices continued along with a surge in rents as more buyers from turmoil-hit countries entered the market amid increased investor confidence and mortgage availability. Year-on-year apartment rents and sales prices jumped 20 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. Villa rents were up 17 per cent as sales surged 24 per cent. According to market analysts, the price of luxury homes in Dubai rose by more than six per cent in the second quarter of 2013. Prime real estate prices in Dubai have increased by 21.6 per cent over the past year, making it the second best performing market in the world. Harald Finger, mission chief of International Monetary Fund to the UAE, noted that listed Dubai property prices soared 35 per cent from a year ago in June. The drastic jump in prices had prompted a warning from IMF that Dubai might need to intervene in its property market to prevent another boom-and-bust cycle. “It is too early to speak of a bubble, but should price increases continue to take place at this pace, action will need to be taken to prevent a bubble,” he said last month after annual economic consultations between the IMF and the UAE. On Sunday, Deyaar shares jumped the most since March 2012 as trading volumes climbed to more than 10 times the three-month daily average. Union Properties jumped 15 per cent to the highest since January 2010. Sunday’s gains brought this year’s advance for Deyaar to 63 per cent and for Union Properties to 58 per cent. That compares with a surge of 67 per cent for Emaar Properties, and 69 per cent for Dubai’s benchmark index. Deyaar and Union Properties trade at about 0.8 times book value, compared with a multiple of almost 1.2 for Emaar. Deyaar soared 15 per cent to 57.2 fils, while Union Properties closed at 62.4 fils. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank and the largest shareholder in Union Properties, rose 2.7 per cent to Dh5.75, the highest since May 20. Air Arabia, a leading low-cost carrier, advanced 4.3 per cent to Dh1.45, the highest since September 2008. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index advanced for a fifth day, gaining 0.3 per cent, while Oman’s measure added 0.2 per cent and Egypt’s EGX30 increased 0.9 per cent at 12:27pm in Cairo. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.7 per cent, led by Riyadh-based Al Rajhi Bank, which declined 1.3 per cent. Kuwait’s measure fell 0.4 per cent, Qatar’s 0.3 per cent and Bahrain’s 0.2 per cent.   Taylor Scott International

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