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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 07/08/2008

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) UAE shares retreated on Wednesday on the back of a crude oil-price fall that traded at 119 a barrel, the lowest in almost three months. Union Properties was among the biggest losers on the Dubai benchmark stock index, which lost 1.1 per cent to close at 5,279.49, while the Abu Dhabi bourse declined 0.9 per cent at 4,825.98 points.

A Dubai-based real-estate developer that's building F1-themed parks, Union Properties slipped 5.7 per cent to Dh4.81 in the Dubai trading while Tamweel, the biggest mortgage lender in the UAE, declined 4.4 per cent to Dh6.80 and Gulf General Investments slumped 2.7 per cent to Dh10.95.

Tamweel said in a statement that it expects second-half profit to rise 15 per cent to between Dh435 million and Dh455 million from the first-half of the year. Revenue between July and December is seen to reach between Dh725 million and DhDh810 million.

Shuaa Capital dropped for an eighth day as first-quarter operating income rose 22 per cent to Dh144.9 million. The biggest investment bank in the UAE lost 1.6 per cent to Dh6, with shares value amounting to Dh14.8 million.

"The sharp decline in oil prices is prompting some concern among investors who fear crude may fall below 100," said Wael Abdulrasol, the international trading manager at United Securities, in Muscat, in a Bloomberg report. "Sharp price drops aren't good for sentiment."

Oil has lost about 28 since hitting a record 147.27 a barrel in New York on July 11, with crude oil for September delivery traded at 119.36.

At least 281 million shares traded on the Dubai Financial Market General Index with shares value of Dh1.34 billion compared to the 50-day average of Dh1.1 billion based on Bloomberg data while shares value on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index amounted to Dh665.4 million compared with the 50-day average of Dh1.27 billion.

Aabar Investments, the former oil and natural-gas explorer that sold its only energy asset in March, dropped 3.7 per cent to Dh4.07 on ADX while First Gulf Bank, the Abu Dhabi-based lender controlled by the emirate's ruling family, decreased 3.4 per cent to Dh25.60.


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