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Sun 29 Jul 2007 04:26 PM

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Gulf markets review - July 29

Markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi close more than 1% lower; Bahrain's benchmark jumps to all-time high.

Markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi closed more than 1% lower as foreign investors cashed out of major stocks in response to the decline of global stock markets.

The Dubai index fell 1.89% to 4,250.53 points, its biggest one-day drop in more than three months, with Emaar Properties sliding 3.14%, while Abu Dhabi's index fell 1.32% to 3,527.40 points, with Aldar Properties falling 6.59%.

"The selling indicates that some foreign institutions in the market are getting selling orders from their clients," said Mohammed Yasin, managing director of Emirates Securities.

“Foreigners are clearly rebalancing some of their funds due to declines in the world markets.”

Saudi Arabia's main index closed higher, paced by Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Saudi Electricity Company. The index rose 0.59% to 7,593.56 points, with Saudi Telecom gaining 0.38% having fallen 2.58% on Saturday after the deadline for investors to qualify for a half-year dividend expired, and Saudi Electricity rising 2.22%.Shares of Mobile Telecommunications Communications (MTC) declined for a second day, dropping 1.4%, pulling Kuwait's main index down 0.17% to close at 12,468.90 points.

Omani shares also fell, with Oman's benchmark dropping 0.09% to 6,425.75 points as Bank Muscat eased down 0.21%. Qatar edged higher, its index was up 0.01% to 7,570.08 points.

Bahrain's benchmark jumped 2.19% to 2,557.85 points to hit an all-time high.

Shares of Ahli United Bank closed up more than 15% after International Bank of Qatar offered to buy a 55% stake in the lender at $2.25 per share, valuing a takeover at $6.1 billion.