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Sun 8 Jan 2012 11:11 AM

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DFM weighs on Dubai; Qatar slips ahead of earnings

SABIC and Mobily offer main supports as Saudi index reaches five-month closing high

DFM weighs on Dubai; Qatar slips ahead of earnings
Bank Sohar made a net profit of OR14.5m ($37.7m) in 2011

SABIC and telecoms operator Mobily were the main supports as Saudi Arabia's index reached a five-month closing high.

SABIC, or Saudi Basic Industries Corp, added 0.8 percent and Mobily (Etihad Etisalat) climbed 1 percent.

Mobily's fourth-quarter revenue was expected to increase by an estimated 12 percent, according to a note from Riyad Capital.

"Telecoms should outperform due to limited export exposure and inward focus which will offer shelter from (global) volatility," Riyad Capital wrote.

"Rising disposable incomes through employment support programs for new graduates will be partially diverted to voice and data spend."

Banks were mixed. Al-Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia's largest listed lender by market value, fell 0.3 percent, while Riyad Bank added 0.6 percent.

The all-share index climbed 0.4 percent to 6,468 points, its highest close since Aug 1 and third gain in four sessions.

UAE markets ended lower, with Dubai's index slipping one percent and Abu Dhabi's benchmark dropping 0.5 percent.

Dubai Financial Market weighed, slipping 2.9 percent while Emirates NBD, the biggest listed bank by market value, fell 2.1 percent.

Dubai's index dropped to 1,335 points and Abu Dhabi's benchmark ended at 2,386 points.

Qatar's measure also slipped, ending 0.6 percent lower at 8,829 points while Kuwait's benchmark was almost flat at 5,723 points.

Oman's bank index hit a six-month high after mid-cap lender Bank Sohar reported a 42 percent jump in full year net profit, boosting sentiment for the sector.

Bank Sohar made a net profit of OR14.5m ($37.7m) in 2011, up nearly 42 percent from the previous year, the lender said in a statement to the bourse.

Its shares ended flat, but Bank Muscat climbed 0.5 percent and National Bank of Oman added 0.3 percent, helping the bank index climb 0.6 percent to its highest close since July 13.

The main share index ended 0.1 percent higher at 5,740 points.

"The major drivers of market movement would be earnings announcements, specially from prominent sectors such as banking, telecoms, and services," said Joice Mathew at United Securities.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's index extended Saturday's gains, rising 0.2 percent to 6,456 points.

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