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Tue 24 Dec 2013 03:22 PM

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Dubai index extends 2013 gains to over 100%

Dubai Financial Market closes up 1.3% as year-to date gains cross landmark barrier

Dubai index extends 2013 gains to over 100%

Year-to-date gains on Dubai's benchmark topped 100 percent as optimistic investors, taking position for full-year earnings, pushed real estate and bank stocks higher.

The index climbed 1.3 percent to finish at 3,280 points, its highest close since October 2008. Today's move extended the market's 2013 gains to 102.2 percent.

Shares in bluechip Emaar Properties and Deyaar Development rose 3 and 6.5 percent respectively. Heavyweight Emirates NBD climbed 1.5 percent.

"The play right now in the UAE is for earnings, more than dividends, which are more attractive in Saudi Arabia and Qatar," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. "We are in a rally, but at the end of the day it depends on whether it has legs and this depends on earnings."

A correction is likely in the near-term after the strong year-to-date gains. Catalysts such as MSCI's upgrade for the country to emerging markets status, that will see inflow of funds worth about $500 million, mean any dip in prices will be well bid, Khan said.

Real estate firms are expected to post improved growth in earnings, backed by continued recovery in the sector and new project launches.

Abu Dhabi's measure climbed 0.3 percent to 4,161 points, a fresh five-year closing high.

Qatar's index advanced 0.4 percent to finish at 10,498 points, extending 2013 gains to 25.6 percent.

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