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Sun 19 Jul 2009 10:45 AM

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Shares in Saudi giants fall after drop in Q2 profit

UPDATE 4: Sipchem and SABIC fall 7.1% and 6.5% respectively, Kuwait down.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) extended losses after the petrochemicals producer posted a 76 percent decline in second-quarter profit, dragging the Saudi index lower.SABIC fell 6.5 percent. Rival Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) dropped 7.1 percent after its quarterly profit plunged 99.6 percent.

The index fell 1.6 percent to 5,681 points.

Kuwait's index ended lower for the first session in four as investors cashed in recent gains, while the Qatar and Bahrain benchmarks also declined, with the latter slipping to a fresh two-year low.

Zain and National Bank of Kuwait each dropped 1.7 percent and National Mobile Telecommunciations Co (Wataniya) lost 2.4 percent. The index slipped 0.5 percent to 7,544 points.

Qatar's index also retreated for the first session in four.

Qatar National Bank dropped 1.5 percent. Other lenders also struggled. Al Khaliji Bank slid 2.4 percent and Qatar International Islamic Bank plunged 4 percent. The latter's second-quarter profit fell.

Qatar's benchmark fell 0.4 percent to 6,363 points as volumes decline by two-thirds from the previous session.

Bahrain's index closed lower for the sixth session in seven, slipping 0.8 percent to a fresh two-year low of 1,484 points.

Bank Muscat led gainers on Oman's index, which made its largest one-day rise in 10 weeks.

Bank Muscat climbed 4.8 percent to OR0.699. Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) rose 3.4 percent and National Bank of Oman added 2.8 percent.

The index climbed 2.6 percent to 5,679 points, its highest finish since July 2 and biggest one-day gain since May 10. (Reuters)