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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 15/03/2010

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatari stocks surged yesterday on the back of strong net buying support by foreign institutions. The 20-share main index of the Qatari bourse (Qatar Exchange) was up 62 points to 6,878.

Some 19 of the 44 listed stocks gained with the banking and financial services counters leading the pack with a 1.32 percent rise. Insurance stocks were the next witnessing 0.94 percent gain.

Some 16 shares fell while five remained unchanged at the close of trading. With the index showing some gain the market capitalization figure breached the psychologically critical level of QR375bn again to QR376.59bn.

Commercialbank, Doha Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank were the top gainers, while the losers included Qatar German Medical Devices Company, Dlala Brokerage, Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Telecom.

Meanwhile, Dubai's index made its largest daily gain for three months yesterday as investors bet on a Dubai World debt offer favourable to creditors.

Other Middle East markets rose, buoyed by firm oil prices and positive global sentiment.

Dubai World is about to present a plan on repaying 26bn in debt linked to its main property units, Limitless World and Nakheel. The offer may include more than two tranches in an effort to meet the needs of the 97 lenders to the government conglomerate.

Two of the restructuring options include repayment over three to five years with the principal discounted, and repayment over seven to nine years with no discount. How much of a "haircut" is included on the shorter-term deal depends on how much money Abu Dhabi stumps up.

"I would be very surprised if there was a scenario that repays creditors entirely ," said Khuram Maqsood, managing director of Emirates Capital.

Dubai's index rose 3.7 percent, its biggest gain since December 14 and highest close since January 12. "Values traded on the DFM picked up substantially... highlighting growing market views that the Dubai World restructuring may evolve more favourably than was factored into valuations previously," Ian Munro, MAC Capital head of research, wrote in a note to clients.

Dubai Financial Market climbed 9.6 percent to a nine-week high, while DP World, majority-owned by Dubai World, rose 5.6 percent.

"Most of the bluechips have broken very important resistance levels, creating appetite among speculators to get in and do a lot of trading within the same session," said Samer Al Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 1.2 percent to its highest finish since November 25, the day Dubai World asked for a debt standstill. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which is among Dubai World's major domestic creditors, added 4.2 percent. Global Investment House climbed 6 percent after its fourth-quarter loss narrowed, helping Kuwait's index claim a 20-week closing high.

Sentiment is upbeat in the world's top oil exporting region, with crude prices holding firm above 80 a barrel and China reporting a 28 percent jump in oil demand in January.


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