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Tue 23 Nov 2010 05:06 PM

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Qatar leads drop in Gulf shares as Korean conflict raises risk

Kuwait, Oman, Saudi 's benchmark indices decline in trading on Tuesday

Qatar leads drop in Gulf shares as Korean conflict raises risk
STOCK WATCH: Stocks in the Gulf declined, sending the Qatari benchmark index down the most in six months

Stocks in the Gulf declined,
sending the Qatari benchmark index down the most in six months, after
North Korea fired artillery shells near the border with South Korea,
prompting investors to trim riskier assets. Oil dropped.

Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals maker in the Middle East,
slumped 3.3 percent and Qatar National Bank, the nation’s biggest
lender by assets, dropped the most in six months.

Dubai’s Emaar
Properties , the builder of the world’s tallest tower, slipped 1.9
percent. Qatar’s QE Index slumped 1.8 percent, the biggest decline
since May 25, to 8,121.64 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha.

Bloomberg GCC 200 Index decreased 1 percent at 1:18 p.m. in Riyadh.

“The North
Korea-South Korea situation has raised some concerns,” said Sebastien
Henin, portfolio manager at National Investor in Abu Dhabi. Stock
markets in the Gulf are also “seeing some profit-taking,” he said.

Asian stocks
extended their drop, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreating as
much as 1.6 percent. North Korea fired “several” artillery shells into
South Korea near the nations’ western border, prompting a return of
fire, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement today. The
confrontation added to losses in global stock markets.

Emerging Markets Index retreated as much as 1.8 percent, the most in
almost two weeks. European stocks dropped for a third day, extending a
global selloff, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index sliding 0.6 percent.

Oil declined as
concern an election in Ireland may hinder the country’s financial
bailout boosted the dollar against the euro. Crude oil for January
delivery fell as much as 1 percent to $80.90 a barrel in electronic
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The six Gulf Arab nations,
including the U.A.E., supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.

Qatar dropped to 126.7 riyals and Qatar National Bank dropped 2.7
percent, the most since May 25, to 174.5 riyals. The DFM General Index
retreated 1.2 percent, the most since Nov. 8, to 1,691.48 in Dubai.

Emaar declined
the most since November 8 to AED3.69. Dubai Islamic Bank, the biggest
Shariah-compliant lender in the United Arab Emirates, dropped the most
since Nov. 7, losing 1.8 percent to 2.23 dirhams.

measure slipped 0.7 percent and Oman’s MSM 30 Index decreased 0.6
percent. Abu Dhabi’s measure rose less than 0.1 percent, while
Bahrain’s gauge was little changed. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share
Index dropped 0.9 percent.

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