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Sun 12 Jul 2009 10:43 AM

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Dubai index falls to seven-week low

UPDATE 8: Volumes at lowest since Feb 3, dragged by banks and construction stocks.

Dubai's index ended at a fresh seven-week low, dragged down by banking and construction stocks, with volumes the lowest since February 3.

Emirates NBD dropped 4.6 percent to AED3.18, its third straight decline and lowest finish for six weeks.

Rival construction firms Arabtec and Drake & Scull lost 4 and 1.2 percent respectively as investors worried about the effect sliding oil prices will have on infrastructure projects across the region.

Dubai's index fell 0.1 percent to 1,680 points.

Property and bank stocks dragged Abu Dhabi's benchmark to close lower for the second time in three sessions.

The measure fell 0.4 percent to 2,579 points. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate were the most significant losers, losing 2.8 and 3.5 percent respectively.

Banks also stumbled, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi falling 1.4 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank losing 1.7 percent.

Zain made near double-digit gains after Vivendi confirmed it was in talks to buy Zain's African units, helping Kuwait's index end slightly higher. Zain jumped 9.8 percent and was the most traded stock. Kuwait Finance House was another major gainer, rising 3.6 percent and Agility added 5.2 percent after winning US army contracts worth $128 million.

The index edged up 0.04 percent to 7,494 points.

Most banks stumbled. Gulf Bank fell 5.8 percent and Ahli United Bank lost 2.8 percent.

Analysts said investors will continue to be negative on banking stocks until second-quarter results reveal their exposure to the troubled Saudi family conglomerates Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros.

Bahrain's benchmark fell 1.7 percent to 1,530 points, a new two-year closing low.

Qatar's index fell to a 10-week low as losers outnumber gainers 19 to one, with Industries Qatar the main drag.

Industries Qatar dropped 4.6 percent, falling after Saudi Arabia Fertilizers (Safco) announced a 60 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Banks also retreated, with Qatar National Bank dropping 4.6 percent to more than wipe out Thursday's gain following the release of its second-quarter earnings, which beat forecasts.Barwa Real Estate fell 5 percent after the firm said it would study the merger of its Barwa Real Estate Management, Barwa Hotels and Resorts and Barwa for maintenance services.

The index fell 3.5 percent to 5,809 points, its lowest close since May 3. Volumes slumped to a 21-week low.Hassan Engineering plunged as investors worried about the impact of falling oil prices on infrastructure spending, helping to drag Oman's index to an eight-week closing low.

The firm fell 9.8 percent. The stock more than trebled in price between mid-January and July 2, but has since fallen 21.6 percent.

"There was no fundamental reason for the company to shoot up so much, so it had to give up some of these gains," says Sunil Dhall, vice-president at Gulf Baader Capital Markets in Muscat.

Oman's index dropped 0.6 percent to 5,386 points, its sixth straight loss and lowest close since May 17. Volumes fell to a 25-week low.

Saudi Arabia's index ended lower for the second session in three as financial and property stocks weighed.

Dar Al-Arkan, the largest listed property developer in the Arab world, fell 2.1 percent after it reported a 10.1 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Al-Rajhi Bank lost 0.4 percent and Samba Financial Group fell 1 percent.

Kingdom Holding ended unchanged following a late rally. It is down 2.2 percent since July 7, when it revealed the value of its investments available for sale fell by more than 15 percent to 4.5 billion riyals ($1.20 billion) in June compared with the previous month.

The benchmark fell 0.3 percent to 5,456 points, taking its losses to 10.5 percent since reaching an eight-month closing high on June 14. (Reuters)

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paul 11 years ago

I was looking at the calender a few weeks ago as the weather got hot and it occurred to me that it was that time of year again when all the pools in the Greens mysteriously experience cooler failure at exactly the same time. Lo and behold in 2009 the annual synchronized Greens pool failure has arrived in traditional fashion right as the weather gets hot. Despite last years marathon 4 months 'review' by Emaar's new contractor, during which all of the pools resembled hot springs while the contractor took his time... and more time.... and more time to conclude that... yes indeed all the pools are broken, it seems that all the pool coolers have once again all simultaneously failed at precisely the same time. What a coincidence. Right when the electricity bills for cooling would be highest. All the pools fail at once. Fancy that. If Emaar is reduced to penny-pinching on pool cooling bills then the game really is up for Emaar stock.