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Gulf bourses end firmer; Saudi, Abu Dhabi dip

Dubai, November 19, 2008

Most Gulf bourses ended firmer on Wednesday as investor sentiment improved modestly amid a raft of policy proposals in the Gulf aimed at coping with the credit crisis.

'At the end of the session, we saw an acceleration of buying but volumes remain still average,' said Adel Nasr, local brokerage manager at United Securities in Muscat.

'But at least we see people's sentiments are improving and they're increasing their positions in the big stocks.'

Nasr said investors are starting to feel confident that, aside from Saudi Arabia and Dubai, regional markets are steadying and may start to see gains.

Kuwait's move to overhaul monetary policy tools to boost liquidity helped support markets. The country's central bank introduced new repurchase agreements on Wednesday as Gulf Arab oil producers stepped up efforts to boost bank liquidity and bolster investor confidence.

In the latest attempt by Gulf states to unthaw credit markets, Kuwait said it would offer repo agreements with maturities of one day and one month from Wednesday, in addition to the one-week repo it had offered previously.

'The monetary tools that will help in boosting liquidity in the system and news of the cabinet's approval of a fund to invest in the stock market is improving investor sentiment,' says Faisal Hasan, head of research at Kuwait-based Global Investment House.

Meanwhile, Kuwait could buy up to 10 percent of stocks worth about $12.83 billion through a bailout fund it wants to set up to invest in the local bourse, Abdulmajeed Al-Shatti, head of the Commercial Bank of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti Banking Association told Reuters by phone.

In Dubai, a new committee will attempt to tackle the impact of the global financial crisis on its economy, a government official said on Wednesday, as the emirate struggles to maintain investor confidence amid concerns about transparency.

The crisis committee, headed by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar, would take its recommendations to the emirate's ruler, as well as release more details to the public, committee member Nasser Al-Shaikh said.

The Dubai main index rose 0.98 percent to 2,053 points. Emaar Properties was up 3.3 percent while Arabtec gained 7.94 percent.

Abu Dhabi's measure fell 0.11 percent to 2,880 points. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which had soared in the previous session, fell 2.39 percent while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank slipped 0.25 percent.

The Qatar main index inched up 0.19 percent at 5,760 points. Commercial Bank of Qatar climbed 2.23 percent while Industries Qatar gained 0.65 percent.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark fell 1.8 percent to 4,880 points. Saudi Basic Industries Corp and Al-Rajhi Bank fell 1.98 percent and 3.48 percent respectively.

Kuwait's benchmark ended up 2.66 percent to 8,811 points. Al Ahli Bank closed up 3.85 points and Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained 6.67 points.

Oman's main index rose 1.38 percent to 6,035 points. National Bank of Oman and Renaissance Services gained 5.5 percent and 4.34 percent respectively.

Bahrain's benchmark edged up 1.22 percent to 2,026  points. Bahrain Islamic Bank rose 3.23 percent.-Reuters  




Tags: firm | Gulf bourse |

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