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MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune - 22/08/2006

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As Lebanon tries to pick up the pieces and start its rebuilding process, investors in the GCC markets are treading cautiously waiting for some movement. Yesterday, markets ended mixed with only the Omani bourse registering a respectable gain of around one percent, while, Kuwait and Bahrain ended flat. Elsewhere, the Saudi and Bahraini bourses shed 1.05 per cent and 0.42 per cent, respectively. The Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets remained closed for the day, after ending at pre-war levels on Sunday.

Bahrain eased another half a percent even as it continues to linger around its highest levels in four months. The Services sector lost close to 85 points, while the Banking, Hotels and Insurance sectors closed in the green. New product launches from Batelco didn't gel well with traders as it ended the day losing 5 per cent. Ithmaar Bank also shed over 2 per cent. Meanwhile, Qtel and Bahrain Tourism each added around 7 per cent. Ahli United Bank attracted huge volumes after it upped its stake in Delta International Bank.

A broad-based buying spree was witnessed in the MSM led by Industry and Bank shares. The market gained close to one percent breaking the 4900-barrier. National Aluminium's climb could only be stopped by the upper limit at 10 per cent, while Onic Holding also gained around 10 per cent. Sweets of Oman's profit of over 6 per cent added flavour to the otherwise flat market. On the flip side, Oman & Emirates Inv shed 3 per cent. The market breadth was largely positive with 23 gainers against 9 losers.

With all the listed companies having published their 1H results, Kuwait ended as flat as flat could be with the traders playing a wait and watch game, while volumes dwindled. The market inched into the green rather sluggishly.

Amidst large-scale indecisiveness, major sectors ended mixed. Shuaa Capital added another 5 per cent on renewed buying; Al Deera rebounded with a 4 per cent gain. Conversely, Egypt Kuwait Holding lost 6 per cent while Salhia Real Estate declined 5 per cent.
Saudi Arabia

The TASI index shed 125 points while volumes retreated by over 37 per cent on a rather dull day of trading. Investors exerted downward pressure as all the major sectors ended negatively in line with prevailing market sentiments.

The Industrial and Telecom sectors took the brunt of the selling pressure
shedding between 25 per cent and 40 per cent. Tabuk Agri and Saudi Fisheries pared over 6 per cent, each. Conversely, the Agricultural sector climbed more than 60 per cent, led by Hail Agri with gains of 6.14 per cent, and Bishah Agri with a arise of 3 per cent.

Sideways movement characterised the Qatari market. The DSM's steady rebound from record lows continued to gain momentum with a cautious rise of 2.80 points. Trades were choppy but did well to stay afloat with all the major sectors ending in positive terrain, save for Banking. Gulf Cement's trades, which debuted yesterday, topped both the volumes and loser's lists with traders booking handsome listing gains. The stock shed 14 per cent. Meanwhile, Gulf Warehousing continued its ascent adding 5 per cent and Nat Cement gained 2 per cent.


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