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Dubai Stocks Rise Most in 6 Weeks on Oil; Saudi Jumps on Payout

(Bloomberg) — Dubai stocks advanced the most in six weeks after oil rallied on signs a price slump will curb output. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose after King Salman ordered bonuses of two months’ salary to be paid to government workers.

The DFM General Index added 4.5 percent, the most since Dec. 21, to close at 3,840.22. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index climbed 2.2 percent, its first increase in five days, and Qatar’s QE Index gained 1.4 percent, the strongest close since Jan. 8. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index advanced 3 percent.

Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, surged the most in almost six years on Jan. 30 after Baker Hughes Inc. reported that the U.S. rig count fell to a three-year low. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which four of six Gulf Cooperation Council states are members, has maintained output amid the lowest prices since 2009, challenging the growth in U.S. production.

“Oil-price volatility is still the main driver in the regional markets,” Wadah Al Taha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Al Zarooni Group, said by phone today. “It’s a combination of a substantial jump in crude prices last week and some good numbers we’re seeing by United Arab Emirates companies.”

Dubai Investments PJSC soared 14 percent, the biggest increase since Dec. 21, after reporting a more than 60 percent jump in full-year profit. The investment company’s board proposed a 12 percent cash dividend and 6 percent bonus shares.

Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, advanced 6.6 percent.

Royal Decree

Crude, which fell into a bear market last year, surged 7.9 percent to $52.99 a barrel on Jan. 30. It had the best weekly performance since February 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, climbed the most in six weeks after King Salman announced bonuses for civil servants worth billions of dollars, a week after succeeding to the throne. The monarch also replaced key security and economic officials and made changes to some government bodies and allocated additional grants for the Ministry of Social Affairs and other agencies.

“It’s a reaction to the royal decree that came out last week,” Mohammed Al-Suwayed, a Riyadh-based financial analyst and partner at market-analytics company SPT Investors LLC, said by phone today. Investors have also “reacted positively” to the appointment of Mohammed Al-Jadaan as head of the Capital Markets Authority, Al-Suwayed said.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the petrochemicals maker with the second-biggest weighting on the index, rose 7.5 percent to the strongest level in almost two months. Al Rajhi Bank, the world’s largest Islamic lender, jumped 4.1 percent.

Egypt Slides

Kuwait’s SE Price Index added 1 percent and Oman’s MSM 30 Index climbed 0.2 percent, while Bahrain’s BB All Share Index slid 0.5 percent. Egypt’s EGX 30 Index dropped 0.6 percent.

Israel’s TA-25 Index lost 0.2 percent at 2:43 p.m. in Tel Aviv, led by Nice Systems Ltd. Real-estate companies advanced, with Melisron Ltd. and Azrieli Group both poised to close at the strongest levels on record.

“The low bond yields are pushing investors toward quality commercial real-estate shares which pay out dividends and are benefiting from lower financing costs due to the low interest rates,” Shai Azar, an analyst at IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said today by phone.

The Bank of Israel left its benchmark rate at a record low on Jan. 26 as the economy recovered from a war-related drop and inflation stayed below the government’s target range. The yield on the government’s bond due 2024 dropped 3 basis points to 1.64 percent, the lowest since the notes started trading in January 2014.

Iraq’s benchmark ISX General Index dropped 1.7 percent to a record. The gauge has declined for 16 days, losing 34 percent in the period.


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