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Abu Dhabi stock market hits multi-year high on FAB’s foreign ownership limit increase

Abu Dhabi stock market hits multi-year high on FAB’s foreign ownership limit increase

Foreigners will be allowed to own as much as 40 per cent of FAB stock from a previous limit of 25 per cent

Abu Dhabi stocks closed up 2.4 per cent on Sunday, reaching a four-and-a-half year high as First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) surged after it obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit.

Other Gulf markets were weak.

Foreigners will be allowed to own as much as 40 per cent of FAB stock, up from a previous limit of 25 per cent, lifting FAB shares by almost 5 per cent.

FAB shares closed at Dhs15.58 ($4.24), their highest since May 2014.

The index ended at 5,174 points, its highest since September 2014.

Dubai shares were flat on weakness in Emaar Properties, which was down 1.2 per cent.

Shares of Emirates NBD rose 1.7 per cent however after the bank said it had sold more shares in the London initial public offering of Network International after exercising a greenshoe option.

Saudi stocks made a lacklustre start to the week as financial shares fell on profit-taking after robust gains in the Gulf region’s biggest stock market this year.

The index ended 0.4 per cent lower, with Al Rajhi Bank down 0.6 per cent and Samba Financial Group down 1.3 per cent.

It is still up almost 16 per cent so far this year, fuelled by an increase in foreign fund flows as it entered the FTSE Russell’s emerging market index on March 18.

Across the rest of the Gulf, Bahrain stocks were up 0.5 per cent, while Kuwait’s market was flat.

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