Markets mixed in UAE as it shifts to new working week

DUBAI: United Arab Emirates stock markets had mixed fortunes as they shifted to a new Monday to Friday working week to better align with global markets.

The UAE announced last month it would move to a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of 2022.

It has taken measures in the past year to make its economy more attractive to foreign investment and talent at a time of growing economic rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

“The change in trading days could give the two markets an edge over other bourses in the region,” Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness, said.

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.2% on Friday, extending losses for a fourth session, hit by a 1.1% drop in its largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

But Dubai’s main share index advanced 0.8%, notching up its second weekly gain, as investors await initial public offering announcements.

In November, Dubai announced plans to launch a 2 billion dirham ($545 million) market-maker fund and initial public offerings of 10 state-backed companies as part of plans to boost activity on the local bourse.

The listing plans are aimed at making Dubai a more competitive market against bigger bourses in the region, such those in as Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Abu Dhabi, that are seeing larger listings and strong liquidity.

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