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Tue 21 Oct 2008 10:18 AM

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Gulf exchanges rise as global credit fears ease

UPDATE 5: Emaar Properties shares boost Dubai benchmark ahead of anticipated buyback plan.

Most Gulf Arab markets extended gains on Tuesday after easing credit fears boosted global stocks.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi were the biggest gainers on Monday, but Kuwait closed lower.

Emaar Properties ended up 2.71 percent ahead of an anticipated share buyback.

It said earlier this month it would starting buying back its shares after its third-quarter results.

Emaar's third-quarter profit fell 3.3 percent as it took a writedown on its US unit due to the global financial crisis.

"Most investors are happy with Emaar's results as it shows that the firm was not really affected by the crisis and they came somehow within expectations," said Sherif Abdelkhalek, institutions account manager at Beltone Financial.

"There is speculation on Emaar's buyback programme. They should starting buy back by Wednesday and there is expectation its shares could go up."

Dubai's benchmark closed 1.22 percent higher at 3,351 points.

First Gulf Bank, which on Tuesday posted a 68 percent in third quarter net profit, and Union National Bank rose 9.52 percent and 9.87 percent respectively as Abu Dhabi's measure closed up 3.75 percent at 3,652 points.

Oman, Qatar and Kuwait all ended higher as global stock markets rise.

Qatar's benchmark closed 3.15 percent higher at 8,185 points as Commercial Bank of Qatar gained 3.76 percent.

Kuwait's index reversed early losses and ended up 1.7 percent at 11,041 points. Kuwait Finance House and Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained 2.86 percent and 3.33 percent respectively.

National Industries Holding Group surged 6.94 percent after it said its board will meet to discuss cancelling a $992 million capital hike.

Oman's benchmark ended up 1.09 percent at 7,378 points, helped by Bank Muscat, which rose 1.52 percent.

Shares of Saudi Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 5.61 percent after the firm posted a 73.3 percent growth in third-quarter profit.

The Saudi benchmark, down 42.51 percent this year, gained 0.81 percent at 6,397 points. (Reuters)

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