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Tue 5 Apr 2011 01:34 PM

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Saudi Electric falls on dividend

Index slips 0.03% to 6,604 points in third session losses; Gulf markets mixed in early trade

Saudi Electric falls on dividend
Qatari investor stock exchange

Gulf markets were mixed in early trade, while Emirates NBD helped push up Dubai's benchmark.

Dubai's top lender rose 4.2 percent. The bank's chief executive said in March it is looking for merger opportunities in the region.

"Markets will probably move sideways generally in Dubai and Abu Dhabi," said Mohammed Yasin, CAPM Investment's chief investment officer.

Dubai's index added 0.2 percent to 1,553 points.

Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.3 percent to 2,593 points as heavyweight First Gulf Bank fell 1.8 percent.

"Consolidation is not a bad thing. We are in anticipation of Q1 results that could be a positive catalyst," Yasin said.

Bluechip stocks will retain attention of smaller investors while institutional and high-net worth investors sit on the sidelines, he added.

Oman's index gained 0.4 percent to 6,292 points, helped by Bank Muscat. The lender rose one percent in third day of gains.

Kuwait's benchmark was flat, slipping 0.03 percent to 6,299 points.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark was flat after an early session drag from Saudi Electric after the company paid dividend.

The stocks plummeted 4.6 percent.

The index slipped 0.03 percent to 6,604 points, in third-session losses. It's up 0.8 percent for April.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) supports index with a 0.9 percent climb.

Almarai Co, the Gulf's biggest dairy firm by market value, shed 0.5 percent. The company said on Tuesday its first-quarter net profit rose by 0.5 percent to SR235.2m ($62.72m).

"The market kicked off Q1 earnings season in a bit of a disappointment with Almarai reporting marginal growth and Zamil communicating a profit warning," said Amro Halwani, a senior trader at Shuaa Capital in Riyadh.

Zamil Industrial fell 6.9 percent.

"These events put some pressure on the general sentiment. The majority of investors are currently on the sidelines as they are waiting for the earning season to set a clear direction," he added.