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Tue 6 May 2008 05:52 PM

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Kuwait bourse sets fresh lifetime high

Index crosses 15,000-point mark for a second day, while Saudi benchmark falls for fifth consecutive day.

Kuwait's main index crossed the landmark 15,000-point mark for a second day on Tuesday to end the session on an all-time high, helped by speculation that the upcoming election will give the stock market a boost.

Qatar also ended on a high with strong gains made by banking stocks, along with did Oman and Bahrain

However, Saudi's benchmark fell for a fifth consecutive day, hampered by weakness in financial stocks, and both UAE markets finished down for the session.

Kuwait's main index closed 0.28% higher, helped by logistics firm Agility and Al Abraj Holding, which gained 5.36% and 1.28% respectively. The benchmark hit a fresh record of 15,040 points.

Qatar's main index, the Gulf Arab region's second-best performer this year, jumped 2.27%, boosted by banking stocks.

The index closed at 11,653.24 points. Qatar National Bank (QNB) jumped 5.09%, Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) rose 5.31% and Industries Qatar gained 1.14%.

The Saudi index, the worst performing measure in the Gulf Arab region this year, ended down 1.04% at 9,926.63 points. Saudi Investment Bank and Samba Financial Group declined 2% and 3.31% respectively.

Dubai's benchmark index closed down 0.39% at 5,824.70 points. Construction firm Arabtec Holdings shares, which rose as much as 3.13% in early trading, closed up 0.63%. Arabtec posted a near four-fold increase in first-quarter profit on Monday.

Deyaar shares fell 1.25%. The property company has said an investigation into alleged financial irregularities by some of its employees would have no impact on profits.

Abu Dhabi's main index fell 0.28% to close at 5,040.00 points. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) ended 0.17% lower. The bank is set to buy a 25% stake in Malaysia's fourth-largest lender.

In Muscat, telecom Omantel, which climbed more than 8% during trading, ended up 5.73%, helping lift the main index. The benchmark climbed 1.45% to 11,305.84 points.

Bahrain's benchmark edged up 0.03% to 2,828.05 points. Gulf Hotel Group and Bahrain Tourism Company rose 1.1% and 1.3% respectively.