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Gulf Shares Gain, Led by Bahrain, on Oil and Bank Stake Sale

Gulf stocks rose, led by Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, as crude oil traded near a 17-month high and Al Tamdeen Investment Co. planned to sell a stake in Ahli United Bank.

Ahli United, Bahrain’s largest lender, surged to the highest level in more than a year. Al Tamdeen Real Estate Co., which owns a majority in Al Tamdeen Investment, increased to the highest in five months as it said it will make a profit of 50.3 million dinars ($174 million) from the sale. Emirates Telecommunications Corp. gained 1 percent. Bahrain’s All Share Index climbed 1.3 percent to 1,594.96, the highest close in six months. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index advanced 0.4 percent.

Crude oil rose 2.1 percent yesterday and traded at $86.64 a barrel at 5:10 p.m. in Dubai. U.S. service industries expanded in March at the fastest pace since May 2006, indicating the country’s recovery may be spreading beyond manufacturing and starting to create jobs. The U.S. is the world’s largest energy consumer.

“The positive sentiment in the Gulf is continuing, as crude trades above $85,” said Essa Buheji, a research analyst at TAIB Securities in Bahrain’s capital Manama.

Abu Dhabi, the richest of seven sheikdom’s that make up the United Arab Emirates, holds about 7 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and Persian Gulf countries about 40 percent.

June 2008

Ahli United Bank rose 6.7 percent to $0.8, the highest close since November 2008. Al Tamdeen Real Estate advanced 8.2 percent, the most in a week, to 330 fils. Al Tamdeen Investment will sell shares in Ahli United Bank for 98 million dinars. Al Tamdeen Investment surged 9.4 percent, the most since June 2008, to 290 fils as 10,000 shares traded.

Etisalat, the U.A.E.’s biggest telephone company, rose to 10.6 dirhams.

The Kuwait’s Stock Exchange Index advanced 0.3 percent to the highest level since Oct. 22. Qatar’s measure and the DFM General Index rose 0.1 percent. Saudi’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.7 percent and Oman’s benchmark index closed 0.3 percent lower.

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