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Tue 24 Jul 2007 09:01 AM

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Stocks to watch - July 24

Investment Dar receives approval to set up an Islamic lender in Bahrain; Aldar Properties posted a 66.6% surge in Q2 profits.

Kuwait Stock Market

Kuwaiti Islamic investment firm The Investment Dar on Monday said it had received final approval from Bahrain's central bank to set up an Islamic lender in Bahrain with capital of $1 billion.

Bahrain-based investment bank Gulf Finance House, which is also listed in Kuwait, posted a 24% rise in second-quarter net profit, the firm said on Monday. Net profit rose to $74 million in the three months to June 30, the firm said in a statement to Reuters. Earnings per share rose 22% to 10.55 cents, it added.

Bahrain's BBK Bank, which is also listed in Kuwait, said it planned to raise 50 million dinars ($174.3 million) through a rights issue to finance growth.

Doha Securities Market

Industries Qatar posted a record profit in the second quarter, beating an analyst's forecast.

Qatar Water & Electricity said it will meet with reporters on Tuesday morning to answer questions about its second-quarter results.

Muscat Securities Market

National Bank of Oman posted a 26.7% rise in second-quarter net profit to 9.62 million rials ($24.99 million) on Sunday, slightly below an analyst's forecast.

Raysut Cement, Oman's largest cement firm by market value, posted its slowest profit growth in almost two years in the second quarter missing an analyst's expectation.

Bahrain Stock Exchange

Bahraini investment bank Gulf Finance House posted a 24% rise in second-quarter net profit, the firm said on Monday. Net profit rose to $74 million in the three months to June 30, the firm said in a statement to Reuters. Earnings per share rose 22% to 10.55 cents, it added.

Bahrain's BBK bank said on Monday it planned to raise $133 million through a rights issue to finance growth.

Abu Dhabi Securities Market

Aldar Properties posted a 66.6% surge in second-quarter net profit on Monday on gains in the value of its land holdings.

First Gulf Bank posted its fourth consecutive record profit in the second quarter, up 28%, beating analysts' forecasts.

Aabar Petroleum Investments said on Monday it plans to sell its petroleum drilling unit this year to focus on exploration and production.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi said on Monday it is considering selling bonds worth as much as $1.75 billion, including up to 2 billion dirhams ($544.7 million) of bonds convertible into shares.

Saudi Stock Exchange

State-controlled Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), the world's largest chemical company by market value, launched syndication of a $5.4 billion loan backing its $11.6 billion purchase of the plastics unit of General Electric, a banking source said on Monday.

Saudi Telecommunications, the largest Arab telecom firm by market value, said on Monday it had 15.5 million mobile phone subscribers in the largest Arab economy, home to about 24 million people.

The Saudi bourse regulator said on Monday it was looking into trading in shares of insurance firm SABB Takaful, which have surged more than 197% since its debut on June 16.