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Mon 13 Jul 2009 10:32 AM

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Emaar decline drags Dubai index to 8 week low

UPDATE 10: Emaar shares drop 5.8% after news that Burj Dubai will not open until Dec.

Emaar Properties fell after reports said the firm's flagship project to build the world's tallest tower had been delayed.

Emaar dropped 5.8 percent after news the Burj Dubai would not be completed until December. Stocks hit an 11-week low of AED2.28, taking its losses to 29 percent since it announced plans to merge with three units of Dubai Holding on June 28.

"Emaar has been under pressure since it announced its merger plans, which is helping push the market lower, while foreign funds are net sellers on a daily basis," said Chamel Sahmy, Beltone Financial regional senior sales trader.

Dubai's index fell 3 percent to 1,630 points, its lowest close since May 17.

Arabtec plunged 9.5 percent ahead of its second-quarter results, while Dubai Financial Market and Union Properties lost 5.6 and 4.7 percent respectively. Abu Dhabi's benchmark fell for the seventh session in eight, dropping to a 10-week closing low as property and energy stocks slide.

The index slipped 0.7 percent to 2,561 points, its lowest finish since May 3.

Dana Gas dropped 4.9 percent on falling oil prices, while Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate lost 6.1 and 5.3 percent respectively.

Oil prices fell more than $1 to below $59 a barrel on Monday on concerns about the health of the global economy.

Kuwait's benchmark slid to a three-month closing low as bank stocks retreated on fears of potential write downs from regional companies.

The index dropped 1.7 percent to 7,369 points, its lowest finish since April 15. National Bank of Kuwait dropped 1.7 percent, Gulf Bank lost 1.5 percent and Al Ahli Bank ended unchanged following a rally.

The latter has received regulatory approval to raise its capital by 25 percent, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday.

Bahrain's index fell 2.1 percent to 1,497 points, a fresh two-year closing low and biggest one-day decline since January 19.

Banks weigh on Qatar's index, which declined for the sixth session in seven, falling to a 10-week closing low.

Commercial Bank of Qatar and Doha bank slid 1.6 and 2.9 percent respectively.

Qatar National Bank (QNB) fell 3.5 percent. It beat expectations to post a 12 percent rise in second-quarter net profit last Wednesday.

The index dropped 1.3 percent to 5,731 points, its lowest finish since April 30.

Oman's index slumped to a fresh 10-week closing low, making its largest one-day decline since May 11 as all active stocks retreated.

The benchmark fell 2.3 percent to 5,264 points, its lowest close since May 5.Bank Muscat fell 7.9 percent, National Bank of Oman lost 3.6 percent and Jazeera Steel plunged 8.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia's index fell for a third session in four as volumes slipped to a 10-month low and property stocks weighed.

The benchmark dropped 0.2 percent to 5,448 points. Dar Al Arkan was the main drag, falling 4 percent to take its losses to 10.2 percent since it announced plans for a bonus share issue on July 8. Emaar the Economic City lost 2 percent.

Banks were mixed. SABB fell 0.7 percent. Riyad Bank was unchanged after announcing a 1.8 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, although the lender did not declare any new provisions. (Reuters)

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