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Doha market in biggest drop since June

Doha, November 18, 2012

UAE markets ended lower and Qatar's measure made its largest one-day drop in five months as investors cut risk after Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day.

Dubai's Drake & Scull dropped 5.1 percent. The contracting firm reported a 93 percent plunge in third-quarter profit, widely missing analysts' forecasts.

Dubai Islamic Bank slipped 1 percent, while builder Arabtec and Dubai Financial Market each fell 2.5 percent.

Shares in Dubai-based Islamic mortgage provider Tamweel dropped 3.9 percent, underperforming the property sector after fire damaged parts of the 34-storey, mixed-use Tamweel Tower in Dubai. Tamweel said it would provide hotel accommodation to residents who needed it. There were no reports of casualties.

The emirate's index fell 1 percent to 1,601 points, its lowest close since Sept. 30.

"The regional picture looks bleak with regional tensions as does the global macro data," said Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset Management.

"UAE has done well in the past month - so it's not at a point where bargain hunters will return. Bluechips will have to fall before people will buy on valuations."

Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip from air and sea for a fifth straight day on Sunday, preparing for a possible ground invasion while also spelling out its conditions for a truce.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark dropped 0.4 percent to close at 2,681 points, down for a third session since Monday's 16-month high.

Dana Gas fell 2.4 percent. The board of the energy firm is meeting to discuss progress in restructuring the company's $920 million Islamic bond which matured last month, the company said in a stock exchange statement.

In Doha, the index fell 0.8 percent to 8,377 points, its lowest close since Aug. 7 and biggest one-day decline since June 3.

Qatar Electricity and Water fell 1.2 percent, Qatar National Bank shed 0.7 percent and Doha Bank droppe 2.5 percent.

Losers outnumbered gainers 17 to three, while all banks fall.

Analysts had been expecting Qatar's market to rally as the year-end nears, with investors positioning for dividend payouts.

"The difference between last year and this year is some banks are raising capital. The general rush for investors looking for year-end dividends might not happen or be less than usual," Khan adds.

Doha Bank, Qatar's fifth-largest lender by market value and part-owned by the country's sovereign wealth fund, announced plans in October to increase its share capital by 50 percent in the first quarter of next year, raising about $1.6 billion. – Reuters




Tags: Qatar | UAE | Doha | gaza | Israel | markets |

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