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Thu 14 Jul 2011 10:18 AM

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Abu Dhabi banks lead gains; most other markets flat

Large-cap stocks pushed Abu Dhabi's index to a week high on Thursday; Oman eases

Abu Dhabi banks lead gains; most other markets flat

Large-cap stocks pushed Abu Dhabi's index to a week high on Thursday, with First Gulf Bank edging up after posting estimate-beating quarterly results, while most other markets ended flat.

The lender gained 0.3 percent to AED17.85. It reported a 13 percent rise in second quarter net profit, helped by a rise in net interest income.

"Earnings were lower than our slightly optimistic estimate of AED1bn, mainly due to higher-than-expected provisions," EFG-Hermes said in a note. "We maintain our Buy rating on FGB as our fair value of AED24.30."

National Bank of Abu Dhabi rose 0.9 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank climbed 1.2 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index gained 0.4 percent to its highest close since July 6.

Dubai's index fell 0.4 percent, down in three of the last five sessions. Gainers outnumbered losers 14 to five.

Builder Arabtec led with volumes, but fell 0.7 percent.

Elsewhere, heavyweight Industries Qatar hit a near seven-week high and led gains on Doha's bourse.

The second-largest stock on the index advanced 0.9 percent, to its highest close since May 30.

"We should have good results from Industries Qatar - urea prices have been in a good uptrend so it should definitely help profit for Q2," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.

The benchmark climbed 0.2 percent, up in four of the past six sessions.

"We are in positive trend since the beginning of June - I think it should be one of the most resilient markets during this summer," he added.

"It could be the outperformer in the region. It is the most politically stable country."

Gainers outnumbered losers 11 to eight. Oman's Bank Sohar led declines on Muscat's benchmark and the index failed to sustain a rally amid thin volumes.

The lender, which hit a near two-month high on Monday,fell 0.3 percent as investors booked profits.

Meanwhile, competitor and bellwether Bank Muscat rose 0.3 percent to a two month high.

It posted a 30-percent increase in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analysts' estimates.

The benchmark eased 0.05 percent, down in the last three of five sessions.

"In anticipation of more Q2/11 results, investors (have) a wait and see strategy which was reflected in the low volumes," said Osama Ibrahim al-Qinna, head of brokerage at Oman Arab Bank.

Thursday's highlights

Abu Dhabi

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 2,725 points.


* The index slipped 0.4 percent to 1,548 points.


* The index advanced 0.2 percent to 8,484 points.


* The measure climbed 0.1 percent to 5,097 points.


* The index eased 0.05 percent to 5,987 points.


* The measure declined 0.1 percent to 6,169 points.


* The measure gained 0.1 percent to 1,320 points.