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Thu 19 Apr 2007 03:41 PM

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Gulf market report - 19 April 2007

DFM closes up again, spurred on by heavy trading volumes on the exchange.

You would have thought someone had announced that goods were half price, judging by the number of trades made on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), which saw the general index (DFMGI) close up 0.02% to 3,864.87.

Investors who thought yesterday's trading volumes were high would be stunned to hear that a total of 930 million shares changed hands today, worth over AED2 billion, topping yesterday's close of AED1.5 billion.

"I think AED2.4 billion worth of trade is an exception, but I believe the market will experience a correction next week. I highly doubt this is sustainable," said Amro Diab, head of GCC institutional sales for EFG-Hermes Brokerage.

Today's rally was spearheaded by DFM's own shares, which traded a staggering AED1.2 billion worth of shares - more than 50% of the market's total value. It was also the biggest gainer, rising 3.79% to AED3.01 a share.

"Only a few weeks ago shares on the DFM reached AED2.10. Today, the price peaked at AED3.09, to close at AED3.01. The price has been very volatile because of the amount of retail investors buying into it. Although I don't think this can go on for much longer," said Mr Diab.

Transportation corporation, ARMX, was the day's second biggest riser, followed by Union Properties (UPP), which saw their share prices go up 2.87% and 1.49% respectively.

Arabian Scandinavian Insurance Company (ASCANA) was the day's biggest loser, falling 4.94% to AED4.23. While Kuwaiti clearing company, Mazaya, saw 4.86% wiped off its share price to close at AED6.66, making it the second biggest loser. Emirati Bank (EBI) was the third highest loser, falling 3.82% to AED8.56.

Just like the DFM, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM) closed up. The general index rose 0.62% to 3,091.50. Sixty-two million shares were traded on the exchange at a value of AED269 million. Winners outnumbered losers by a ration of 3:2 while Qatar Telecom (QTEL) was the exchange's biggest gainer, rising 6.56% to AED238.

Bahrain's main stock market index closed lower for a third day, led by National Bank of Bahrain and Ithmaar Bank. The index edged down 0.13% to 2,109.17. National Bank fell 1.23% and Ithmaar 0.52%. Bahrain's index is the fourth worst-performing Gulf Arab bourse this year, down almost 5%.

Qatar's main stock market index closed lower for the first time in four days, paced by Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar Electricity & Water Company. The index edged down 0.06% to 6,255.41 points. Qatar Islamic fell 1.48% and Qatar Electricity 1.98%.The Doha benchmark is the worst Gulf Arab performer this year, down more than 12%.

Oman's stock market index closed lower for the first time in four trading days, paced by Oman Telecommunications Company. The index, the Gulf's biggest gainer this year, fell 1.1% to 5,853.53 points after a three-day rally pulled the index to a near record high. Omantel led declines among seven of the eight largest stocks, falling 3.03%. The stock had rallied earlier in the week on rumours that the firm was mulling a tie-up with a UAE firm. The company has denied the rumours.

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