By Raissa Kasolowsky
UPDATE 2: Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain edge upwards while Oman slips slightly.
Kuwait's main index closed slightly higher on Thursday as investors bought into companies they believe will be the target of the government's new fund to shore up the bourse."Volumes were pretty good today and most of the trading was focused on large caps they think the KIA will be targeting once it starts buying," said Jasem al-Zeraei, supervisor of brokerage at National Bank of Kuwait.
National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House gained 2.67 percent and 3.41 percent respectively.
Shares in Global Investment House declined 1.27 percent after it said it was in talks with several local banks to get $1 billion worth of loans, while seeking a quick sale of its 14.7 percent stake in Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait.
The benchmark closed 0.55 percent up at 8,915 points, having lost nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the year.
Qatar's benchmark ended 1.71 percent higher, tracking gains in US and European markets and boosted by measures to support the country's banking sector amid the global credit crisis.
Commercial Bank of Qatar and Qatar Gas and Transport (Nakilat) rose 5.06 percent and 1.85 percent respectively.
The Bahrain index ended 0.32 percent higher at 1,924 points.
Oman's main index closed almost unchanged in very light trading volumes ahead of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman lost 0.47 percent and 0.69 percent respectively.
The benchmark ended 0.03 percent lower at 6,168 points.