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Thu 28 Aug 2008 04:34 PM

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DFM ends week lower amid crackdown

Dubai Financial Market ends week low, lead by real estate stocks fears over probe.

The Dubai Financial Market ended the week lower, lead by real estate stocks amid ongoing concerns of a crackdown on corruption and speculation in the property sector, while Abu Dhabi closed higher after three days of falls.

Emaar Properties ended 0.84 percent lower and Deyaar declined 1.6 percent. Dubai's main index slipped 0.26 percent to 4,789.81 points.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark climbed 1.29 percent to 4,416.08 points, led by Emirates Telecommunications Co (Etisalat) and First Gulf Bank, which rose 1.7 percent and 4.07 percent respectively.

Foreign selling drove Qatar's main index to levels last seen in April, ending more than 1 percent lower. Kuwait also fell, while Bahrain rose.

Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) and Qatar National Bank fell 4.55 percent and 1.16 percent, respectively.

“Foreign sales are still targeting the blue chip companies,” said Amro Motasim, a trader at Ahli Bank. “People are expecting the market to fall to between 9,500 to 10,000 points. I think that could happen between now and the end of Ramadan.”

The Doha index shed 1.38 percent to 10,299.05 points.

Kuwait Finance House, down 0.73 percent, dragged on Kuwait's index, which fell 0.12 percent to 14,499.20 points.

Bahrain rose 0.2 percent to 2,696.68 points, led by Ahli United Bank, which rose 0.84 percent.

Selling by foreign investors weighed on Oman's main measure, with Bank Muscat leading the decline, falling 3.79 percent.

The benchmark ended 1.86 percent lower at 9,720.85 points, falling for a second day. “Foreign selling is continuing,” said Sankar Kailasam, head of research at Gulf Investment Services.

Oman Flour Mills ended 3.6 percent lower.

DP World jumped 6.26 percent in early trading on the Dubai International Financial Exchange after its first-half profit from continuing operations after tax more than doubled to $287 million.

The world's fourth-largest container port operator repeated its outlook that it expects to meet expectations and said that so far in the second half of the year it has outperformed the market.

The stock ended the day 5.00 percent higher.

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