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Monday, 22 March 2010

Oman Shares Rise Most in Month, Led by Bank Muscat, Ahli Bank

Oman’s benchmark stock index rose the most in more than a month after Bank Muscat SAOG and Ahli Bank SAOG distributed dividends. Qatari stocks also gained.

Bank Muscat, the sultanate’s biggest lender, advanced to the highest since November 2008 after paying its dividend yesterday. Ahli Bank, the provider of long-term loans for property construction and home purchases, increased to the highest in 18 months. The Muscat Securities Market 30 Index gained 0.9 percent, the most since Feb. 14, to 6,740.06.

“There was a very handsome payout recently,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive officer of Dubai-based Gulfmena Alternative Investments. “The trend in Oman is that right after dividends are paid, there’s a movement on the stock, which is what happened this morning. Investors are taking prices back to pre-distribution levels.”