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Sun 25 Jan 2009 10:30 AM

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All major Arab Gulf bourses end higher

UPDATE 8: Dubai index rises to 1,488 points; NBAD lifts Abu Dhabi bourse.

Abu Dhabi's main index ADI closed up more than two percent, led higher by bank stocks and snapping a three-day run of losses.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi added the most points to the benchmark, rising 6.23 percent. First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank soared 6.78 percent and 5.93 percent. The benchmark rises 2.44 percent to 2,188 points.

In Dubai, the benchmark DFGMI extended gains into a second session, rising 1.08 percent to 1,488 points. Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank gained 2.66 percent and 5.03 percent respectively.

Oman's main index MSI posted its largest one-day gain since the beginning of November on hopes the government's 150 million rial ($389.7 million) market-maker fund will be launched soon. Bank Muscat surged 9.9 percent, while National Bank of Oman soared 9.8 percent.

The index rose 5.21 percent to 4,634 points.

Bahrain's benchmark BAX edged up 0.41 percent to 1,666 points.

Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) ended 7.58 percent higher as investors piled into bluechips, taking heart from central bank plans to shore up the Gulf Arab state's economy.

Kuwait's central bank is to present to the government on Monday a plan to further shore up Kuwait's economy and banking sector in the face of the global financial crisis, its governor said on Saturday.

"Investors are buying into bluechips on the back of the announcement saying that they are looking at ways to help the Kuwaiti economy," says Rami Sidani, head of investment for the Middle East and North Africa at Schroders in Dubai.

National Bank of Kuwait gained 6.1 percent.

The benchmark KWSE added 0.17 percent, rising to 6,507 points.

Qatar's main index QSI ended up 1.96 percent at 4,909 points, led higher by Industries Qatar, which rises 5.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index TASI ended up 0.48 percent at 4,810 points, extending gains into a third consecutive session.

Etihad Etisalat rose 5.42 percent, adding the most points to the index. Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.88 percent. (Reuters)

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