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Sun 24 Oct 2010 12:28 PM

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Trading lacklustre on Dubai index

Investors await quarterly earnings from bellwether Emaar Properties

Trading lacklustre on Dubai index
Shares for Emaar, the developer of the Burj Khalifa, ended flat. (ITP Images)

Dubai's index edged higher, but trading

was lacklustre as investors await quarterly earnings from

bellwether Emaar Properties.

Emaar ended flat. The developer is forecast to a report a 6.8

percent rise in third-quarter profit, according to analysts

polled by Reuters.

"Locally, investors are waiting on Emaar," said Haissam

Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative


Emirates NBD climbed 1 percent and Dubai Financial

Market added 1.1 percent.

The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,747 points.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties climbed 2.8 percent

and Sorouh Real Estate added 1.7 percent.

Waha Capital rose 2.5 percent after reporting a

jump in quarterly profit.

The UAE capital's measure climbed 0.5 percent to 2,821

points, its highest close since April 25.

Industries Qatar hit a 24-week high,

tracking gains in regional rival Saudi Basic Industries Corp

(SABIC), while solid quarterly earnings also support

Doha-listed stocks.

IQ climbed 2.9 percent to its highest finish since May 6. On

October 14, the firm reported a 28 percent increase in third

quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts on

higher-than-expected steel margins.

"Industries Qatar's earnings were good, but I don't think

today's move is about these - it is tracking gains in SABIC,"

said Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at

Doha-based investment company The First Investor.

SABIC was up 0.3 percent, taking its gains to 4.5 percent

since October 17.

Qatar's index climbed 0.6 percent to 7,774 points. It

is up 11.7 percent in 2010 to be the top performing Middle East


"Qatar has decoupled from the region in terms of earnings -

Qatar companies were expected to do well as the country's GDP

growth trickles down into sectors like banks, industrials and

services," said Pramberger.

"People are still worried about the global economy and so

many people would prefer to invest in lower risk countries -

Qatar is a much safer bet than Dubai, for example, for long-term


Qatar's economy is expected to grow 14 percent in 2010,

according to a September Reuters poll.

The Kuwait and Oman benchmarks

edged higher in subdued trade, with few catalyst to draw in


Kuwait banks were mixed. National Bank of Kuwait dropped 2.9 percent and Boubyan Bank fell 3.2 percent,

but Gulf Bank reversed initial losses to end 2 percent


Kuwait's index climbed 0.3 percent to 6,963 points, but

volumes slumped to a four-week low.

In Muscat, Oman Cement edged up 0.2 percent after

reporting its nine-month earnings.

"Oman Cement managed to sustain its sales volume on

quarterly basis," said Gunjan Gupta, head of research at Oman

Arab Bank.

Rival producer Raysut Cement climbed 1.1 percent to

1.261 rials. The firm is holding acquisition talks with several

companies and expects to reach an agreement within a month, its

chief financial officer said on Sunday.

"Raysut has already crossed the 50-day moving average and we

expect it to reach 1.280 rials," said Gupta.

Oman's measure rose 0.03 percent to 6,544 points.

Saudi Arabia's index edged higher to claw

back some of its October losses, but investors are seen looking

towards global markets for cues after local quarterly results

largely fail to excite.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 0.3

percent, hitting a four-month high and extending gains since it

reported a 46 percent rise in third-quarter profit, beating

analysts' forecasts.

Samba Financial Group fell 0.8 percent and Banque

Saudi Fransi dipped 2.4 percent. Bank sector

third-quarter profits have slumped, broadly missing estimates as

rising provisions bite.

"Apart from SABIC and Mobily, many Saudi companies,

especially banks and petrochemicals, have reported disappointing

figures," said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager

at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.

"Banks had higher provisions and no real growth in their

loan portfolio or even deposits, so the Saudi banking sector is

at something of a standstill."

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) climbed 0.5 percent. The

telecoms operator posted a better-than-expected 41-percent rise

in quarterly profits on Oct. 17, helped by a fall in the cost of

international networks and higher broadband revenues.

Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.02 percent to 6,288 points,

trimming its October losses to 1.7 percent.

"Saudi has been pretty stable, despite some disappointing

numbers and I don't expect there to be a correction -- we should

start to see some accumulation, but regionally we need a new

catalyst to break out to new highs and I think that will have

come from the global macro outlook," said Arabi. (Reuters)