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Sun 22 Nov 2009 10:35 AM

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Emaar stocks main drag on Dubai index

UPDATE 4: Shares fall 4.4%, while late banking rally helps Saudi to higher close.

Dubai's index makes its largest one-day decline for nearly three weeks as property-related stocks weighed amid dampened expectations for the emirate's dominant sector.

Emaar Properties

fell 4.4 percent – its biggest one-day drop since November 3 –
Deyaar

slides 2.8 percent and
Arabtec

lost 3.5 percent.

Dubai's index fell 2.6 percent to 2,074 points, its biggest decline since November 3 as volumes slumped to a three-month low.

Abu Dhabi's index was in similar difficulties, dropping 2 percent to 2,865 points, its largest decline since November 1. Property stocks were the main driver.
Aldar Properties

fell 4.7 percent and
Sorouh Real Estate

lost 4.8 percent.

A late banking sector rally helped Saudi Arabia's index end slightly higher, although volumes hit an 11-week low with investors wary of opening new positions ahead of Eid.

Al-Rajhi Bank

climbed 0.3 percent,
SABB

added 2 percent and
Banque Saudi Fransi

rose 1.4 percent.

The index ended 0.2 percent higher at 6,284 points. It is down 4.3 percent since hitting a 12-month closing high on October 24. Volumes fell to their lowest level since September 7.

Meanwhile, telecoms and bank stocks helped Kuwait's index end higher for a second session, bucking a downward trend on Gulf Arab benchmarks.

Kuwait Finance House

climbed 3.9 percent and
National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya)

added 1.4 percent.

Rival
Zain

rose 1 percent to 0.970 dinars. The stock has lost 29 percent over the past month as investors grow impatient for firm news on its protracted takeover by an Asian consortium, which was first announced in early September. This priced
Zain

at two dinars a share.

Agility

ended flat, halting a three-session losing-streak since a US court indicted the logistics provider on fraud charges last week.

Kuwait's index climbed 1 percent to 6,822 points, trimming its losses to 12.7 percent since the end of September.

Qatar's index ended down for the first session in five as volumes slump to a week-low.

Qatar Islamic Bank

was the biggest drag, sliding 0.7 percent. The benchmark fell 0.1 percent to 7,174 points.

Bahrain's measure rose for a second day, climbing 0.5 percent to 1,550 points, its largest gain for a month.

Oman's index ended almost unchanged in dull trading, with investors reluctant to open new positions ahead of the Eid holidays.

"Volumes should increase from the second week of December, with banking and investment companies leading the way," said Sayed Quadry, vice-president of business development at
Amwal Investment

in Muscat.

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel)

fell 0.5 percent, tracking broad losses among regional telecoms, while
Oman International Bank

lost 1.7 percent.

The index slipped 0.04 percent to 6,383 points, its second straight decline. Volumes slumped to their lowest level since late January.

Oman's bourse will close from November 29 to December 3. (Reuters)