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Tue 14 Oct 2008 10:15 AM

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Gulf markets continue to rally

UPDATE 5: Dubai Financial Market sees largest one-day gain for the second day running as shares soar.

Gulf bourses rose sharply on Tuesday as measures from governments in the region to shore up banking systems continued to boost investor confidence.

Dubai's main index posted its largest one-day gain in its lifetime for the second trading session in a row.

Real estate stocks led gains, with Emaar Properties and Union Properties ending 14.92 percent and 14.61 percent higher.

Recent losses means Emaar Properties is now Dubai's third-largest company by market capitalisation, with Mashreq Bank and Emirates NBD taking over the first two spots.

In Abu Dhabi, Etisalat was the top heavyweight gainer of the day, ending 9.8 percent higher, but property stocks and banks also featured heavily among the bourse's biggest winners.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) all finished around 10 percent higher. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate ended 9.85 percent and 9.94 percent respectively.

The index ended 7.53 percent higher at 3,602 points.

Saudi's benchmark index ended 7.29 percent higher at 6,828 points, with banks and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) leading gains.

SABIC soared 5.91 percent higher, while Al Rajhi Bank surges 7.62 percent. Samba Financial Group and Banque Saudi Fransi jump 8.96 percent and 8.1 percent respectively.

Qatar's main index rose 9.88 percent higher at 8,377 points, its largest one-day gain in more than 8 years.

Banks led gains, with Qatar National Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar all recording double digit increases.

Kuwait's main index bucked the rising trend in the Gulf region, ending 0.26 percent lower at 11,795 points.

National Bank of Kuwait, which on Monday posted a drop in third-quarter profit, ended 3.33 percent lower, while Commercial Bank of Kuwait, which reported a third-quarter gain, lost 1.54 percent.

Oman's main index ended more than 8 percent up with bank shares leading gains. National Bank of Oman and Bank Muscat surged 9.88 percent and 9.96 percent, while Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) rose 9.95 percent.

The index finished 8.37 percent higher at 7,717 points, having lost 18 percent last week, its largest weekly loss in its lifetime, according to Reuters data.

Bahrain's main index ended 1.77 percent higher at 2,371 points. Ahli United Bank and Gulf Finance House rose 1.12 and 8.68 percent respectively.

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