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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 20/08/2007

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) DUBAI — The UAE markets tumbled yesterday as foreign investors dumped Gulf Arab stocks, including Emaar Properties, the largest Arab real estate developer by market value, whose shares plunged to their lowest close in 28 months.

Foreign investors have scrambled for safer assets following a global flight from risky assets in the past week that had been triggered by fears of non-availability of credit for companies and households due to defaults in the US mortgage market.

Dubai's main index fell 56.54 points, or 1.35 per cent, to close at 4,140.86 while the Abu Dhabi bourse dropped 30.7, or 0.89 per cent, to 3.406.51.

Emaar, the developer of the world's tallest building, Burj Dubai, slumped 1.9 per cent to close at Dh10.30, the weakest close since April 13, 2005. Its home building subsidiary in the US, John Laing Homes, made up 16 per cent of Emaar's revenues in April to June.

The key US markets where Emaar operates have been directly affected by subprime market weaknesses, according to Reuters, and will likely reflect the US housing market in its financials.

Al Mazaya Holding Co., which is engaged mainly in real estate projects, dropped 6.75 per cent to Dh6.90, ending at the bottom-rung of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index. Gulf General Investments, an investor in manufacturing industries and financial and insurance firms, among others, declined 3.82 per cent to Dh7.55.

The other top losers were Amlak Finance, the pioneer in home financing in the UAE, which slipped 3.42 per cent to Dh3.10; Tamweel, a property financier, which slumped 2.25 per cent to Dh3.91; and Dubai Islamic Insurance, which declined 2.23 per cent to Dh24.05. There were only two gainers — Arabtec Holding, an investor mainly in the contracting sector, which rose 1.21 per cent to Dh5.82, and Shuaa Capital, the region's leading investment banking institution, which climbed 0.2 per cent to Dh5.

Except for the insurance sector, which gained 1.28 per cent to 2,909.18, all other sub-indices had dropped at the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM) Index.

Al Wathba Insurance Co. plunged 9.93 per cent to Dh4.08, trailing all the other ADSM listed companies. Oman&Emirates Investment Holding Co. fell 9.4 per cent to Dh19.80 while International Fish Farming slumped 8.3 per cent to Dh5.11.


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