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Tue 31 Jul 2007 08:56 AM

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Stocks to watch - July 31

Emirates Bank and NBD shareholders have till September to decide on merger; Sabic agrees 35% stake in iron ore project.

Dubai Financial Market

Commercial Bank of Qatar said on Monday it is in talks to buy a minority stake in UAE-based United Arab Bank, the latest Gulf Arab lender to join a wave of acquisitions in the region and beyond.

Shareholders of Emirates Bank International and National Bank of DUbai have until September 17 to decide on a government plan to combine the two banks, the lenders said on Monday.

Dubai Investments, the UAE's largest diversified holdings firm by market value, posted its second-biggest profit on record in the second quarter as building material and property units boosted sales.

EFG-Hermes maintained its short-term "accumulate" and long-term "buy" rating on National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed), saying its fair value is AED3.69 ($1.01).

Dubai International Financial Exchange

Dubai-based hotel investment firm Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) said on Monday it had acquired a luxury resort hotel and residence development work on the island of Pranslin, Seychelles.

Abu Dhabi Securities Market

Efg-Hermes maintained its short-term "neutral" and long-term "accumulate" ratings on Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, giving it a fair value target of AED62.49.

Abu Dhabi-based Sorouh Real Estate Company turned a profit in the second quarter after revenue surged more than six-fold.

Saudi Stock Exchange

Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) said on Monday it agreed to take a 35% stake in a SR5.6 billion iron ore project in Mauritania.

Kuwait Stock Exchange

Global Investment House, Kuwait's biggest investment bank by market value, said it would almost triple its stake in Jordan's Union Bank and enter Saudi Arabia this year as it expands abroad.

Kuwait Insurance Company's second-quarter profit more than tripled.

Doha Securities Market

Commercial Bank of Qatar said on Monday it is in talks to buy a minority stake in UAE-based United Arab Bank, the latest Gulf Arab lender to join a wave of acquisitions in the region and beyond.

Bahrain Stock Exchange

Ahli United Bank's third-biggest shareholder said on Monday it was not among investors that had accepted a Qatar lender's $6.1 billion offer to take over Bahrain's largest bank by market value.

Government-owned Dubai Financial said on Monday it had agreed to buy around 37% of Bahrain's TAIB Bank and was looking to raise its stake to 60%.