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Mon 27 Jul 2009 11:15 AM

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Kuwait Projects shares down after death of financier

UPDATE 5: Firm tumbles 5.5%, Saudi up - highest finish since June 20.

Kuwait Projects Co tumbled, a day after the death of a financier linked to a US fraud probe.The firm dropped 5.5 percent following a late slump. Kuwait's index ended lower for the first session in three as financial stocks retreated, slipping 0.5 percent to 7,708 points

Kuwait Finance House fell 1.6 percent as traders booked profits from Sunday's 8.8 percent rise, its largest daily gain since March 4.

Boubyan Bank slipped 5 percent, taking its losses to 18.5 percent since July 16. On July 22, National Bank of Kuwait bought a 13.2 percent stake in Boubyan Bank for $295m in an auction.

NBK climbed 3.3 percent. Banks and telecoms lifted Abu Dhabi's index to a five-week high as bullish global sentiment spurred buying locally.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) rose 1 percent, clawing back most of Sunday's decline, which was prompted by an Indian court ruling.

First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi rose 5.3 and 3.1 percent respectively on thin volumes, with 703,000 shares changing hands combined. The index climbed 1.1 percent to 2,756 points.

Dubai's benchmark declined for the first session in three, slipping 0.8 percent to 1,828 points as traders cashed in gains from Sunday's 5.2 percent surge, its biggest rise for more than five months.

Losers outnumbered gainers 16 to three, with Dubai Financial Market slipping 2.3 percent and Arabtec sliding 2.5 percent. Volumes dropped by a third from the day before. Saudi Arabia's index reached a fresh five-week closing high as firm oil prices spurred buying in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), lifting the petrochemicals producer 2.9 percent.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) slipped 2 percent, taking its losses to 7.8 percent since it posted a 22 percent drop in quarterly profit on July 21.

The index climbed 0.4 percent to 5,839 points, its highest finish since June 20 and second advance in three sessions. Volumes slipped to an eight-session low.

Qatar's index rose to a six-week closing high, bolstered by further gains in Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat).

The latter climbed 3.8 percent and accounted for nearly 40 percent of all shares traded on the index. It was up 17 percent in a week.

The benchmark climbed 0.8 percent to 6,694 points.

Bahrain's measure rose 0.4 percent to 1,494 points.

Oman Cement surged after its second-quarter profit more than doubled, lifting Oman's index to a seven-month high.

Oman Cement jumped 10 percent and Renaissance Services and Oman International Bank added 2.5 percent.

The index climbed 0.9 percent to 5,961 points, its highest finish since December 18 last year.

Oil prices were up 0.9 percent at $68.66 a barrel at 0912 GMT, retreating slightly from an intraday high. (Reuters)