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Sun 12 Oct 2008 10:08 AM

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Dubai exchange ends on 43-month low

UPDATE 6: Emaar Properties hits stock loss limit, Saudi only exchange showing small positive.

Shares in Dubai's Emaar Properties dropped 10 percent on Sunday, dragging the Dubai Financial Market to its lowest level since March 2005 as investor fears over the global financial turmoil intensify.

Under new regulations brought in by the Dubai bourse on Sunday, the company's fall in value was the maximum it could lose in a day. Deyaar Developments fell 8.3 percent, while Arabtec ended 9.9 percent lower. The index ended 5.41 percent lower at 3,025 points.

Shares in Dubai continued to drop after the UAE government agreed on Sunday to take measures to protect the economy, promising to protect banks from credit risks and guarantee bank deposits.

Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.3 percent to 5,813 points, recouping earlier losses after the kingdom's central bank cuts its key benchmark repo lending rate by 50 basis points.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) surges 8 percent, while Petro Rabigh gained 6.8 percent and Al Rajhi Bank rose 3.8 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the main index ended 2.3 percent lower at 3,133 points, paring earlier losses as attractive valuations tempted investors back to the emirate's real estate sector.

Aldar Properties finished just 0.7 percent lower, while Sorouh Reak Estate gained 0.21 percent.

Qatar's main index ended 7.18 percent down at 7,029 points, led lower by bank stocks and Industries Qatar, which dropped 7 percent.

Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar fell 7.8 percent and 7.2 percent respectively. The index has lost 27 percent since the beginning of the year.

In Kuwait, the main index finished 0.4 percent lower at 11,858 points. Gulf Bank plummeted 5.17 percent, but Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) surged 8.62 percent, while Kuwait Finance House ended 4.9 percent up.

Bahrain's main index ended 0.83 percent lower. Gulf Finance House and Bahrain Telecom Co ended 0.86 percent and 0.31 percent lower while Ahli United Bank gained 1.11 percent.

Oman's main index closed 5.68 percent lower at 6,770 points - the index has fallen 27 percent since the beginning of the year.

Bank Muscat finished trade 8 percent lower, while Oman Cable Industries plunged nearly 10 percent.

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