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MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune - 26/08/2008

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(MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune) The situation in the GCC deteriorated further yesterday, as investors continued to divest index heavyweights in a majority of the markets. Qatar and the twin UAE bourses lost significantly, even as Oman continued its dismal performance. Elsewhere, Saudi and Bahrain managed to cross the centreline, albeit marginally.

The Bahraini market ended with its nose above the water, buoyed by gains in the banking and hotels sectors. Gulf Hotel Group and Bahrain Islamic Bank added 4% and 2%, in that order. National Bank of Bahrain rose 2%. On the negative side, the investment sector languished. Al Salam Bank and Ithmaar Bank dropped between 2% and 1%. The advance-decline ratio stood at 7:6.

Tepid investor participation amidst weak sentiments tugged the MSM 30 index 59 points below the fence. The services and banking sectors lost around 1% each. Renaissance Ser dropped 1% and banking giant Bank Muscat pared 1%. Galfar fell 3%. Only 7 of the 42 traded symbols landed on the green - Bank Dhofar climbed 5% and Dhofar Cattle Feed moved up 2% on just three trades.

Renewed selling activity in a majority of the sectors beat the Kuwaiti market 56 points lower. The banking sector (down 171 points) suffered the most. Boubyan Bank and Burgan Bank lost between 4% and 2%. Al-Mowasat Holding erased over 8% on a single trade. On a brighter note, the food sector harvested some decent profits with Kuwait Food edging up 1%. Kuwait Building Mat shot-up 19%.

Helped by modest gains in a majority of sectors, the Saudi market resumed its journey north. However, overall volumes fell to nearly 146 million as against the 214 million recorded yesterday. The banking sector was the most benefited as Al Rajhi Bank rose 3%. Alinma Bank was up 1% and Tawuniya scaled 4%. On the flip side, the transport sector skidded 1% as National Shipping sank 2%. Saudi Chem also spilled over 2%.

All-around-selling pressured the Qatari bourse to close its forenoon session as the biggest loser in the region. Investors exited banking stocks en masse - Doha Bank tripped 2%, Commercial Bank of Qatar dwindled 2%, and Al Khalij Commercial Bank eased 1%. Of the 39 traded stocks, 34 stocks moved south; only 1 stock managed a positive finish - Ezdan RE up 1%.

Swept by a wave of selling across sectors, the DFM Index sank deeper into the red on low volumes. A loss of around 2% each in market leaders Emaar and Deyaar saw the RE sector finishing at the bottom of the heap.
Ekttitab Holding declined 5% and Dubai Islamic Bank inched down fractionally. Nonetheless, three stocks managed to escape the investors' wrath - Kuw Fin & Invt surged 15%.

Abu Dhabi
Weaknesses in a majority of the key sectors saw the ADX concluded the day's proceedings on a losing note. The insurance and RE sectors fell between 2% and 1%. Union Insurance plunged 9% and Aldar Properties tumbled 1%.

AD Ship Building collapsed 10% close to the floor. Nonetheless, the construction sector was the lone survivor - RAK Cem climbed 6%. Commercial Bank International profited 8%.
Contributed by TAIB


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