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Wed 22 Jul 2009 11:18 AM

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Vodafone Qatar stock surges on Doha debut

UPDATE 4: Stock climbs 24% to 12.4 rials, Saudi ends down.

Vodafone Qatar ended higher on its Qatar Exchange debut.

The stock ended 8 percent higher at QR10.8, retreating from an intraday high of QR13. Its IPO price was QR10. Vodafone Qatar is not yet included on Qatar's index, which rose 1.1 percent to 6,513 points, a July high. Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) climbed 5.5 percent and Industries Qatar rose 2.5 percent. Commercial Bank of Qatar dropped 2.6 percent.

Aabar Investments surged to help Abu Dhabi's benchmark rise for a sixth session.

Aabar jumped 9.6 percent after the firm said it would launch a joint venture with Austria's Berndorf to invest in technology companies and European real estate firms.

The index climbed 0.5 percent to 2,710 points, its highest close since June 22. Trading volumes almost doubled from the day before.

First Gulf Bank rose after HSBC raised its price target on the stock to AED20.30 from AED18.70.

FGB climbed 3.5 percent to AED15, shrugging off a 4.1 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

Dubai's index finished lower for a second day following further declines in property-related stocks.

Emaar Properties lost 1.9 percent, Deyaar dropped 2.7 percent and Arabtec slid 1.2 percent.

Dubai's index fell 0.6 percent to 1,740 points. Volumes fell to a six-session low.

Troubled Saudi conglomerates Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros are restructuring billions of dollars of debts. Last month, the UAE central bank governor said UAE banks had 'significant' exposure to the two groups, with all Gulf Arab countries exposed.

Telecom, financial and petrochemical stocks dragged Saudi Arabia's index lower as stuttering oil prices, slumping quarterly earnings and a slight fall in global stocks dampened sentiment locally.

Saudi Telecom Co dropped 3.2 percent after posting a 22 percent fall in second-quarter profit.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) fell 2.3 percent. The stock this week shrugged off a steep drop in second-quarter profit thanks to rallying crude prices, but with oil's march halted at around $65 a barrel investors are now selling the stock.

Rising oil prices boosted petrochemical prices and gave Saudi producers a competitive advantage over their rivals from higher-tax countries, analysts said.

Al-Rajhi Bank fell 1.5 percent, while Kingdom Holdings dropped 2.1 percent, extending losses to a second day since posting an 83 percent decline in quarterly profit.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) suffered its biggest one-day loss for 20 weeks after posting a 22 percent drop in second-quarter profit.

STC's shares slid 4.1 percent, its biggest one-day decline since March 3.

Saudi Arabia's index ended 1.4 percent lower at 5,671 points, its first decline in three sessions.

Zain Group rose to help Kuwait's benchmark end higher for a second session.

Zain climbed 5 percent, taking its gains this week to 8.6 percent in the past two days after Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) said it was interested in acquiring a majority stake in the Kuwaiti firm.

Kuwait's index climbed 1 percent to 7,675 points.

Bahrain's measure rose 0.5 percent to 1,490 points.

Banks and telecoms dragged Oman's index to a lower close as investors cashed in gains from Tuesday's 2009 high.

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) fell 1.9 percent after making its biggest gain for 15 weeks the day before, while Bank Dhofar and National Bank of Oman lost 1.7 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Raysut Cement was the biggest gainer, climbing 3.3 percent after posting a 9 percent rise in second-quarter profit.

Oman's index fell 0.4 percent to 5,800 points. Volumes dropped to a six-session low. (Reuters)