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Wed 22 Oct 2008 10:28 AM

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Gulf markets down despite strong Q3 figures

UPDATE 5: Shares on region's bourses fall, led by banking and real estate firms.

Banks and real estate stocks led UAE stock markets lower on Wednesday as they tracked sharp falls in bourses around the world.

Dubai's benchmark declined 4.24 percent to 3,209 points, led by Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD which fell 5.28 percent and 4.91 percent respectively.

Sorouh Real Estate ended 8.75 percent lower despite more than tripling its third-quarter profit, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 6.91 percent after posting a 26 percent fall in third-quarter earnings.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark fell 1.58 percent to 3,595 points, tracking weakness in Asian stocks while ignoring strong third-quarter results. In Abu Dhabi, Sorouh Real Estate declined 4.37 percent after the firm's third-quarter net profit more than tripled. The index slipped 0.47 percent to 3,635 points.

In Dubai, Dubai Financial Market slid 3.19 percent after it posted an 88 percent jump in its third-quarter net profit.

Arabtec Holding climbed 1.86 percent after its profit for the same period rose 51 percent. The index declined 2.09 percent to 3,281 points.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark fell 3.46 percent in early trading with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 2.58 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi 6.33 percent. The index is at 6,175 points.

Qatar and Kuwait bourses ended lower as stock markets around the world fell on Wednesday after concerns about economic recession.

Industries Qatar fell 5.21 percent and Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) 4.84 percent as the benchmark slid 3.26 percent to 7,919 points.

In Kuwait, Zain declined 4.69 percent leading the index lower by 2.15 percent to 10,804 points.

"We are still in a bearish trend," said Ammar Hajeyah, assistant manager at Global Investment House. "We are linked to what is happening in international markets. We are facing a liquidity issue."

Bahrain's benchmark closed 0.53 percent lower at 2,309 points.

Oman Cable Industries led Muscat's benchmark to a lower close on Wednesday. Oman Cables fell 2.05 percent and Galfar Engineering Co dropped 4.5 percent.

"It is a reaction to the drop in international markets," said Tarik Abdul-Razzak, deputy general manager at United Securities in Muscat. The index closed 1.53 percent lower at 7,265 points.

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