Complex Made Simple

Dubai’s zero-deficit budget fails to lure stocks, investors await Saudi budget

Banks and financial services companies were among the top losers

Despite the Dubai government’s announcement of a zero-deficit budget for 2016 with increased spending, the stock market in the emirate fell on Monday (December 28).

The Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 1.3 per cent as less than half of the total listed stocks traded. Banks and financial services companies were among the top losers. Ajman Bank and Emirates NBD fell back 4.13 per cent and 3.24 per cent respectively, while GHF Finance Group fell 3.09 per cent.

Stocks in the Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabian bourses also slipped as the investors await the latter’s budget for the coming year later in the day.

The largest economy in the region, hit by continuing drop in crude prices, is expected to announce cuts in capital spending for next year.

As of 07:39 GMT, the international crude oil futures benchmark Brent was trading at $37.58 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate was at $37.63 per barrel.

On Sunday, Dubai passed its budget, increasing expenditure by 12 per cent over 2015’s AED41 billion figure. Last year, the rate of increase in expenditure was only nine per cent.

The AED46.1bn budget expects to show an operating surplus of AED3.4bn and, with revenues also showing a 12 per cent increase (coming in at AED46.1bn), the budget will move beyond a deficit for two consecutive years.