DUBAI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- While most listed blue chip firms declined in value on Wednesday, shares from the "second row" from Riyadh to Dubai dictated the markets' upward action.
The Saudi Stock Exchange, whose market index Tasi closed 0.56 percent higher at 7,025.37 points amid high turnover, was in the focus of interest as National Medical Care Company (NMCC) successfully completed its initial public offering. On the first day of trading NMC opened at 82 Saudi riyal (22.36 U.S. dollars) and closed at 122 Saudi riyal (32.94 U.S. dollars).
According to Shailesh Dash, the chief executive of Dubai-based alternative investment firm Almasah Capital, healthcare is one of the fastest growing industry sectors in the Gulf Arab region due to the fast growing population on the Arab peninsula and the ( albeit declining) shortage of hospitals and clinics.
The Abu Dhabi market index ADXGI advanced 0.13 percent to hit 3, 008.34 points. Market heavyweight and telecom giant Etisalat slipped 0.50 percent to 10.15 Dirham (2.77 U.S. dollars). Sharjah Islamic Bank, a minor lender in the Gulf state, posted the biggest gain, ending up 2.02 percent to hit 1.01 Dirham (0.27 U.S. dollar).
The broad rise of mid-cap shares in Dubai could not prevent the Dubai market index DFMGI from falling 0.87 percent to 1,922.04 points as market bellwether Emaar finished 1.42 percent lower at 5. 56 Dirham (1.51 U.S. dollars). Investment bank Shuaa Capital surged 2.50 percent to hit a 3-week high at 0.584 Dirham (0.16 U.S. dollars). District cooling specialist added 2 percent, closing at 1.53 Dirham (0.42 U.S. dollars).
Elsewhere in the region, the Manama-based Bahrain Bourse gained for the sixth session straight, closing 0.54 percent higher at 1, 115.11 points. The sentiment in Bahrain became extremely bullish after Bahrain's reform-oriented crown prince Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa was appointed the kingdom's first deputy prime minister. Bahrain also benefits from rating agency Standard and Poor's move form Jan. 29 when it raised the outlook for the economy from negative to stable, retaining the investment grade rating BBB.