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Thu 3 Nov 2011 10:31 AM

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Banks lift Oman; Kuwait slips

Heavyweight Bank Muscat gained 0.7% and Bank Sohar climbed 1.3%

Banks lift Oman; Kuwait slips
Oman and Kuwait markets will close from November 6 till November 10 for a holiday marking Eid al-Adha

Oman's shares ended higher ahead of a holiday
as buying in banks supported the index but Kuwait's market slipped.

Oman Investment was the main support, rising
3.1 percent. Traders said there was talk again of Oman Arab Bank (OAB) listing
25 percent of its capital, boosting Omaninvest, which owns 51 percent of OAB.

Heavyweight Bank Muscat gained 0.7 percent
and Bank Sohar climbed 1.3 percent.

"Volumes were better today with
interest coming into banking names on back of decent Q3 numbers," said
Kunal Damle, head of international brokerage and sales at Bank Muscat.
"There was some retail interest after a very long time," he added.

Renaissance Services climbed 1 percent after
saying it will unit Topaz will seek $380m to refinance loans and
consolidate certain facilities.

The benchmark climbed 0.3 percent to 5,573
points, trimming 2011 losses to 17.5 percent.

In Kuwait, the benchmark slipped 0.1 percent
to 5,910 points, extending year-to-date losses to 15 percent.

Oman and Kuwait markets will close from
November 6 till November 10 for a holiday marking Eid al-Adha.

In Dubai, Deyaar Properties rose after Gulf markets traded flat in thin dealing as investors remained on the fence in the last day of trading before Eid holiday.

Shares in Deyaar rose 5.6 percent, accounting for half of all volumes on the index despite posting "disappointing" results, according to analysts.

Its profit for the quarter was AED600,000 ($163.4) and it reiterated it would hand over two towers by year end.

"It's some speculators trying to take advantage of the momentum but the value is very low," said Samer al-Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage.

"Through the day, we will see low volumes due to the long vacation, but also because people are confused about the trend of the market."

All Gulf markets traded near-flat in muted dealing, but Oman edged up 0.1 percent to 5,562 points.

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