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Mon 16 Nov 2009 10:32 AM

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Aramex surges 5% as Dubai index closes higher

UPDATE 7: Telecom operator Zain sees shares up by 2% while Saudi's index also advances.

Real estate and banking stocks lifted Dubai's index to a higher close, ending a two-day losing streak.

Logistics and courier services provider Aramex rose 5.2 percent in its largest one-day gain for two weeks.

Aramex is up 15 percent since Nov. 1 and brokers say it has been a recent favourite of foreign investors because it offers diversification away from Dubai's dominant property and financial sectors, while also acting as a proxy for the regional economy.

Emaar Properties advanced nearly 3 percent and Union Properties, which on Sunday posted a second successive quarterly loss, rose 1 percent.

Among banks, Emirates NBD climbed 2 percent as the index ended 1.6 percent higher at 2,199 points.

Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 percent to 2,967 points, ending lower for the first session in three.

Bluechips helped push the Saudi index higher on Monday after selling pressure in the previous session.

Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) added 1.2 percent. Samba Financial Group rose 2.4 percent and Saudi Telecom Co advanced 1.7 percent.

The benchmark ended 0.7 percent higher at 6,315 points.

Kuwait's index ended higher, rebounding after hitting a seven-month low a day earlier.

Zain

, the country's largest mobile telecommunications operator, rose 2 percent, despite reporting plunging third-quarter profit on Sunday.

"It seems like shareholders are supporting the stock", said Talal al-Loghani, vice president for Gulf equity markets at
Kuwait Finance and Investment Co.

"Banking is a big sector, and we haven't seen good moves on the banks. The selling momentum is still there."

The index ended 0.9 percent higher at 6,978 points.

Qatar's index also reversed some of Sunday's losses, ending 1.8 percent higher at 6,893 points on rising volumes.

Bahrain's measure ended lower for the sixth straight session, slipping 0.2 percent to 1,456 points.

Banking stocks helped lift Oman's index which ended higher for a second day, despite low volumes.

Bank Muscat

rose 1.7 percent and
Bank Dhofar

gained 1.6 percent.

Bluechip
Omantel

added 0.7 percent. The company, which is the largest listing on the benchmark by market capitalisation, reported a slight increase in third-quarter net profit last week, below analysts' expectations.

The index ended 0.4 percent higher at 6,356 points.

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