Dubai Shares Drop on Restrictions, Kuwait Banks Rise: Inside EM

Dubai’s main equities index led losses in the Middle East after a fresh set of restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus as cases keep rising. Banks in Kuwait advanced on potential dividend resumption.

The DFM General Index fell as much as 1.6% on Sunday, adding to a 2% drop on Thursday. The benchmark in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar also traded lower, while the main gauge in Kuwait rose the most.

Stocks in Dubai have risen the past few weeks on improved prospects for tourism and as a vaccination program in the United Arab Emirates picked up. But in the latest setback, the emirateannounced over the weekend that attendance at weddings, social events and private parties will be restricted to 10 people, just afterordering hotels and restaurants to halt entertainment activities late last week.

In Kuwait, lenders including National Bank of Kuwait SAKP, Kuwait Finance House KSCP and Gulf Bank KSCP advanced after the central bankallowed lenders to distribute cash profits based on their 2020 financial results.

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 2.6% last week, the fourth consecutive weekly increase
  • EM REVIEW:Biden Inauguration Helps Push Stocks to Fresh Highs
  • MORE:Lockdown Risk Comes to Fore as Emerging Stock Rally Loses Steam

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • Dubai’s DFM index falls 0.8% as of 11:27am local time, trimming gains this year to 8.9%
    • Emaar Properties declines 1.2%, Du -1.5%, Emirates NBD -0.4%, Damac Properties -2.9%, Emaar Malls -1%