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Tue 24 May 2011 11:37 AM

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Kingdom, Zain Saudi up; Riyadh index rises

UAE, Qatar benchmarks slump to their lowest closes in at least 6 weeks amid muted buying interest

Kingdom, Zain Saudi up; Riyadh index rises
(Getty Images)

Kingdom Holding and Zain Saudi remained in talks over a stake sale in the telecoms operator, lifting both stocks.

Zain Saudi rose 0.7 percent and Kingdom gained 2.3 percent, together accounting for 20 million shares traded on Saudi Arabia's index TASI.

Kingdom and Bahrain's Batelco have made a joint bid for a quarter-stake in Zain Saudi.

The deal hit a snag over management rights, Reuters reported on Sunday, but the bidders issued separate statements on Tuesday, saying talks are ongoing.

Saudi's benchmark climbed 0.1 percent to 6,711 points, bucking a downward regional trend.

Insurance stocks attract high volumes, with SAAB Takaful rising 2.9 percent and Allianz Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance surging 7.3 percent.

Saudi investors tend to target insurance shares if there is little news flow to move other stocks.

In Bahrain, Batelco ended unchanged.

UAE and Qatar benchmarks slumped to their lowest closes in at least six weeks amid muted buying interest.

Dubai's index DFM fell 0.2 percent to 1,544 points, its lowest close since April 5. The benchmark recovered most of its early-session losses, but declined for a fourth straight session.

District cooling firm Tabreed dropped 3.2 percent, taking its losses to 13.5 percent since saying on Sunday it had issued 416 million new shares to repay a bond.

"Institutional are focusing elsewhere. There is a lack of volumes and no volatility, so day traders are gone," said Vyas Jayabhanu, head of investments, Al Dhafra Financial Broker.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI slipped 0.6 percent to 2,616 points, its lowest close since April 10 as banks weigh.

First Gulf Bank slipped 1.7 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 2.5 percent.

In Qatar, investors book profits for a second day, dragging Doha's index QSI down 0.7 percent to 8,381 points, its lowest close since March 28.

Heavyweights Qatar National Bank and Industries Qatar fell 1.8 and 0.9 percent respectively.

Oman's bourse ended its three-session gains and declines towards Wednesday's 17-month low amid a regional downtrend triggered by drop in developed markets.

Oman's index MSI ended 0.5 percent lower at 6,040 points as losers outnumber gainers 16 to seven and volumes dropped to their lowest in a week.

"We might not see a healthy rally over the short term - expect range-bound activity in the coming trading sessions," said Kanaga Sunder, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of research. "Markets would take cues from global and regional sentiment."

Bank Muscat and Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel), two of largest stocks by market cap fell 1.1 and 0.5 percent respectively.

Elsewhere, Kuwait's index KWSE fell to a five-week low as banks weighed.

The benchmark ended 0.5 percent down at 6,411 points, its lowest close since April 19.

Gulf Bank fell 1.8 percent and Burgan Bank slips 3.9 percent.

Telco Zain extended losses, dropping 1.9 percent.


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