CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (OT) soared on Sunday following an eight-week suspension, while Qatar’s bourse slumped to a three-month low as investors disappointed with proposed dividends continued to sell while other Gulf markets were mixed.
OT’s shares, suspended since Nov. 24, jumped 56.1 percent as the company spun off assets owned by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris. The purchase by Russia’s Vimpelcom of most of OT in April resulted in it being split into two companies.
Under the deal, assets including a stake in Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil and Orascom’s North Korean operations were spun off into Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT), which will remain under Sawiris’s control.
OT’s shares were trading at LE 2.70 while OTMT’s shares were trading at LE 0.89.
"The Djezzy sale was the catalyst," said Ahmed Abu Taleb of Pharos Securities, adding that he believed the surge in OT’s share price was an overreaction.
Egypt’s index rose 1.3 percent to at 3,920 points.
Other shares declined ahead of the Jan. 25 anniversary of the uprising that pushed aside Hosni Mubarak last year. Many investors are worried an outbreak of violence could set back the political process.
In Qatar, banks fell, with Masraf Al Rayan down 3.4 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank down 0.6 percent.
"Although the results were good, dividends didn’t meet expectations, but the fall is unjustified in my opinion on the long haul," said Amer Khan of Shuaa Asset Management.
"There is obviously appetite when these equities get to certain levels. By no means do I think that valuations in Qatar are stretched or at a point that deserves a sell-off."
Doha’s index fell 0.2 percent to its lowest close since Oct. 23.
In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks weighed on the index, which lost 0.2 percent as investors digested the last of the fourth-quarter earnings.
Regional bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) fell 1.1 percent, after posting a 10-percent drop in quarterly profit last week, missing forecasts.
Declining global demand has weighed on petrochemical prices.
"SABIC drove the market down and investors are still digesting the earnings," said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Al Bilad Investment. "(By) the end of the week, the short-term picture will become clear as to the direction of the market."
National Industrialization dipped 1 percent, Advanced Petrochemical shed 2 percent and Nama Chemicals dropped 3.8 percent.
Contractor Mohammad A Mojil Group extended losses, dropping 6.5 percent, after saying last week its fourth quarter losses exceeded 10 percent of its total assets.
In Dubai, Union Properties rose 5.8 percent. The developer has named Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri acting general manager, a bourse statement said.
Dubai’s benchmark ended 0.5 percent higher.
In Oman, Renaissance Services climbed 3.5 percent, recovering from Thursday’s three-year low after a company issued a bourse statement about concerns over its re-financing issues.
"The company has finished 2011 with a positive liquid balance sheet and all financial commitments continue to be met on schedule," chief executive Stephen Thomas said.
Renaissance said in November it was seeking $380 million to finance loans and consolidate facilities for unit Topaz Energy and Marine.
"The company announced a re-financing initiative, which we anticipated should be completed by now," the statement added.
The index added 0.2 percent, up from Thursday’s six-week low.