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Sun 19 Oct 2008 10:16 AM

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Mixed fortunes for Gulf exchanges

UPDATE 5: UAE markets finish higher, but Sabic drags Saudi bourse down after posting Q3 results.

UAE markets closed higher on Sunday as strong third-quarter earnings and rumours of bank mergers boosted sentiment among institutional investors.

Abu Dhabi's index added 2.38 percent to 3,446.76 points, after falling almost 7 percent in the last two trading days and 15 percent in the last month.

Emirates Telecommunications Corp rose 4.04 percent after the firm met expectations with a 19-percent rise in third-quarter profit.

Banks also gained ground, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi - down more than 17 percent this month to its close last week - surged 8.51 percent, while First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped more than 9 percent.

In Dubai, Emaar Properties advanced 2.36 percent, boosting the index 0.37 percent to 3,215.94 points. The real estate company posted a fall in its third quarter profits of nearly 4 percent.

Shuaa Capital tumbled 8.49 percent on reporting a quarterly loss due to writedown related to the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

In Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia's main index closed 3.78 percent lower at 6,258 points as Saudi Basic Industries Corp slid more than 8 percent after posting its first decline in quarterly profit in more than two year.

Kuwait's main index closed lower for a sixth session, falling 2.68 percent to 11,234 points.

Gulf Bank of Kuwait dropped 5.66 percent and Global Investment House fell 7.46 percent.

Qatar's benchmark snapped two days of declines on institutional buying in blue chips, gaining 1.25 percent to 7,901.62 points. Industries Qatar gained 1.93 percent.

Bahrain's benchmark added 0.44 percent to 2,328 points while Oman's main index closed lower for a third trading day, led by Bank Muscat and Raysut Cement Co.

The benchmark shed 0.35 percent to 7,223 points as Bank Muscat dropped 4.1 percent and Raysut 7.5 percent, extending declines after posting a 33-percent rise in third-quarter profit.

Oman's index has dropped more than 40 percent since hitting a high above 12,000 points on June 12. (Reuters)

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