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Wed 8 Aug 2012 10:11 AM

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Dubai's Arabtec in focus; global gains seen aiding Gulf

Arabtec is likely to come under selling pressure after reporting a net loss in quarterly earnings and missing estimates

Dubai's Arabtec in focus; global gains seen aiding Gulf

Dubai's contractor Arabtec is likely to come under selling pressure after reporting a net loss in quarterly earnings and missing estimates, while an upbeat global backdrop is seen holding up local markets.

Arabtec said it made a loss of AED11.6m (US$3.16m) in the second-quarter compared to a profit of AED29m in the same period in 2011.

Analysts polled by Reuters were expected an average net profit of AED78m.

Dubai's index eased 0.2 percent in the previous session to extend declines from Sunday's 13-week peak, but foreign institutional investor interest is seen keeping markets in the UAE buoyed.

"One thing that really encourages me about MENA markets is that the summer months have done really well and a large part has been foreign institutional buyers," says Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.

"For them to be in the market at this stage and retail investors likely to come back after Ramadan and Eid, there will be more fire in the market, so to speak."

The Muslim holy month of fasting ends after mid-August, marked by Eid holidays.

Elsewhere, Kuwait's bourse slumped to a seven-month low on Tuesday after members of parliament again boycotted a session of the country's assembly on Tuesday, foiling an attempt to swear in a new cabinet.

The political turmoil is keeping institutions away from the market, leaving it at the mercy of retail, short-term traders.

The index, which closed at 5,709 points in the previous session, is seen extending losses, analysts say.

Elsewhere, Asian shares extended gains to a third straight session on Wednesday, reaching a three-month high, as investors continued to bet that policymakers will soon take decisive action to address the euro zone fiscal crisis and declining global growth.

"You have a positive international lead because things are headed in the right direction but there was so much negativity priced in so that means less negative news will push global markets up," says Khan.

"We should be following global markets until Q3 but I think the correlation will start to break down. Fundamentals in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are strong."

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