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Wed 25 Feb 2009 09:05 AM

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Dubai market ends lower; banks lead Saudi up

UPDATE3: Dubai's DFM up more than 52% this month, falls 9.77% after declines on Tuesday.

Banks lead Saudi Arabia's bourse TASI to a higher close as SABB climbed 7.62 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi rose 3.9 percent.

The kingdom's index ended up 0.23 percent at 4,542 points.

UAE:Dubai Islamic Bank surged 10.7 percent after posting a decline in profit in 2008 and a fourth-quarter loss, but the emirate's bourse ended lower on profit-taking.

"The results were better than expected. Everyone was expecting big losses," said Alfred Fayek, director of the Gulf institutional desk at EFG-Hermes.

Dubai Financial Market DFM, up more than 52 percent this month, fell 9.77 percent after dropping 9.52 percent on Tuesday. The shares had rallied earlier this month as the DFM's mother company Borse Dubai managed to find funds for a loan that was due this month.

Dubai's index DFMGI ended 1.37 percent lower at 1,568 points.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark ADI edged 0.01 percent higher to 2,338 points, led by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank which climbed 2.52 percent.

Waha Capital rose 8.93 percent after being mandated to arrange and manage a financing plan for the United Arab Emirates armed forces to buy military aircraft worth 11 billion dirhams. Qatar:

Banks led Qatar lower for a second trading day as the market continued to react to a recent report by Moody's highlighting its negative outlook for the country's banking system.

Doha Bank retreated 5.86 percent, Commercial Bank of Qatar fell 3.06 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank 1.97 percent.

"I believe the market is off on Moody's comments on the banking sector. It's probably a reaction by foreign institutions who still have positions in Qatari banks," said Samer Al Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co in Dubai.

The index QSI, which declined for a second trading day, was off 1.42 percent at 4,722 points.


Kuwait's stock exchange KWSE was closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the national and liberation days.

Bahrain and Oman:

Bahrain's bourse BAX eased 0.57 percent to 1,578 points.

Oman's bourse closed marginally higher led by Oman International Bank, as strength in global stocks provided underlying support.

Oman International Bank ended 1.87 percent higher as Muscat's index MSI rose 0.08 percent to 4,805 points.

"The market retraced lower from the day's highs on profit-taking but is stabilising at current prices," said Adel Nasr, local brokerage manager at United Securities in Muscat.

"The view is not clear. People are connecting everything to international markets."

Global stocks rose as reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke boosted investor sentiment.

Bernanke said the "severe" U.S. recession could drag into next year, but said banks should be able to weather the downturn without being nationalised.

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