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Tue 21 Jul 2009 11:36 AM

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Etisalat shares advance on Zain stake

UPDATE 2: Etisalat rises after firm eyes 51% Zain stake, Saudi ends up.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) rose after saying it was interested in buying a 51 percent stake in Kuwait's Zain Group.Etisalat's shares ended 1.4 percent higher, helping Abu Dhabi's index end higher for a fifth straight session. It climbed 0.6 percent to 2,697 points.

Meanwhile, Zain mounted a late surge, lifting Kuwait's index to a higher close after Etisalat’s announcement

Zain climbed 3.5 percent. Rival National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) added 1.2 percent.

Kuwait's index rose 0.8 percent to 7,599 points, its first advance in three sessions.

Dubai shares reversed early gains, dragging the index to its first lower close for five sessions.Dubai Financial Market dropped 4.3 percent, Emaar Properties lost 2.3 percent and Union Properties slid 2.1 percent.

Emaar was also hit by poor quarterly earnings from Saudi-based Emaar the Economic City, which said second-quarter losses widened by 180 percent due to higher costs. Kingdom Holding slumped after its second-quarter profit plunges 83 percent, but late buying in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) helped Saudi Arabia's index to a higher close.

Kingdom fell 3.1 percent and banks also struggled. Samba Financial Group slid 1.7 percent and Arab Bank lost 1.6 percent.Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (PetroRabigh) dropped 5.7 percent after the firm said second-quarter losses more than doubled.

The index climbed 0.6 percent to 5,749 points, lifted by a late surge from SABIC, which ended 3.9 percent higher after oil moved above $65 a barrel.

Qatar's index ended higher as rising oil prices and bullish global equities bolstered local sentiment, with banks and industrials the most significant gainers.

The benchmark climbed 2.6 percent to 6,458 points, its first advance for three sessions and highest finish since July 2.Industries Qatar rose 3 percent, Commercial Bank of Qatar climbed 4.7 percent and Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) added 3.8 percent. Gainers outnumbered losers 17 to 2.

Bahrain's index slipped 0.6 to 1,484 points, its seventh decline in nine sessions and another two-year low.

Oman's index surged to a 2009 closing high, boosted by services and cement stocks.Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) rose 7.2 percent to OR1.425, Raysut Cement climbed 7.1 percent and Renaiassance Services added 3.7 percent.

The index climbed 2.5 percent to 5,822 points, its highest close since December 21. (Reuters)