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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 04/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) DUBAI - Dubai's bourse hit its highest level in five months, while Abu Dhabi's index ended at a fresh 14-month high, as confidence in the reviving local property market boosted real estate stocks. The Dubai index jumped 1.2 per cent to its highest close since May 1 to 1,623.24 points.

Property stocks recovered from Tuesday's dip with Emaar Properties up 2.5 per cent, Union Properties climbing 1.8 per cent and Tamweel gaining 1.6 per cent.

"If you get names like Emaar, Arabtec, Deyaar and Drake and Scull moving then this creates a positive impact on the wider bourse," said Julian Bruce, EFG Hermes' director of institutional equity sales.

Bruce added the market was also boosted by the news that Vanguard Group, one of the largest mutual fund providers in the United States, would switch to using FTSE Group from MSCI for benchmarking, opening up stocks in the UAE and Egypt to their funds. While FTSE classifies both as emerging markets, MSCI ranks them as frontier markets.

"The timing remains uncertain but this type of event is always a catalyst for increased speculative activity," he said.

Abu Dhabi's measure gained 0.2 per cent, advancing further from the previous day's highest close since Aug 4 2011 to close at 2,653.47 points.

The two property firms whose proposed merger has driven positive sentiment on the bourse in recent days, Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, rose 1.5 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Saudi Arabia's bourse, which had gained for three sessions since Saturday's two-month low, slipped back on Wednesday, ending the final trading day of the week down 0.1 per cent.

Volumes slumped once more with around 145 million shares traded on the benchmark. Arab National Bank fell 1.1 per cent to its lowest close since July 2, its 12th decline in the last 14 sessions.

Saudi Telecom Co dipped 0.3 per cent to 40.20 riyals. HSBC has raised its target price on STC to 48 riyals from 44 riyals, according to a note from the bank.

Kuwait benchmark gained 0.1 per cent, snapping a three-session losing streak. Conversely, Qatar's bourse dipped for the first session in four, ending down 0.4 per cent.


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