Trade concerns weigh on Dubai DP World; Orascom Investment shines in Egypt

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Gulf stocks traded in negative territory on Monday, mirroring a dip in global market as concerns increased over a trade row between the United States and China.

In Dubai, where the index <.DFMGI> shed 0.3 percent, contractor Drake and Scull International (DSI) <DSI.DU> continued to weigh on the index.

Shares in the company dropped 2.6 percent, continuing their downward trend after DSI said this month its shareholders would meet on Sept. 27 to decide whether to dissolve it.

Tabarak Investment, DSI’s biggest shareholder with 13.73 percent, told Reuters in a statement last week that it was committed to restoring DSI to financial health, and had arranged for the company to obtain over 1 billion dirhams of projects. The statement, however, failed to lift sentiment.

Dubai’s port operator DP World <DPW.DI>, listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange, hit a new low because of the latest escalation in the trade row between the United States and China.

Shares in the company fell as much as $2.3 percent to an intra-day low of $19.01, the lowest intra-day level since February 2017. The firm came off from that level but it still closed 1.1 percent lower at $19.23.

The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday, an escalation which could affect volumes at some of DP World ports if it continues to worsen.

The Abu Dhabi index <.ADI> edged down 0.1 percent. Aldar Properties <ALDR.AD> – one of the stocks seeing the highest trading volume in Abu Dhabi on Monday – recovered early trade losses to close 1.1 percent up at 1.8 dirhams ($0.4901). A new, fully owned subsidiary of the company was selling benchmark U.S. dollar sukuk on Monday.

The Kuwaiti main index <.BKP> lost 0.1 percent, reversing some of what it had gained ahead of joining of the FTSE Russell emerging market index this week, a development expected to draw investment from passive funds.

Entry to the emerging market index will be in two phases, on Monday and on Dec. 24. Arqaam Capital estimates the inflows in across the two phases will reach $1 billion.

In Egypt, the index <.EGX30> dropped 0.4 percent despite a 10 percent surge of Egyptian Resorts Co <EGTS.CA> after the company announced the launch of a new project through its subsidiary Sahl Hasheesh Company.

The firm said on Monday the project is expected to generate sales of around 390 million Egyptian pounds ($21.84 million), with total investment cost and other expenses estimated at around 200 million Egyptian pounds.

Orascom Investment Holding <OIH.CA> was the second top performer in the Egyptian market, soaring 5.9 percent after a nearly 10 percent jump on Sunday, when it announced that it had been granted an exemption from the United Nations to operate its Koryolink venture in North Korea.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market was closed for the country’s national day.

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