SHARES in Dubai and Abu Dhabi tumbled yesterday, leading a regionwide decline and following news that the President of the United Arab Emirates had suffered a stroke. Dubai's bourse, which has been driven to hefty gains by local retail investors, fell 2.2 per cent - recording its biggest one-day loss in more than two months as it came off last Thursday's five-year high. Abu Dhabi's measure lost 1.8 per cent, also retreating from a five-year high. Gulf economies are mostly insulated from the more general pull-back in emerging markets and currency risks, because of their state budget and current account surpluses, as well as continued government spending on infrastructure projects. In Qatar , the benchmark slipped 0.4 per cent while in Egypt , the benchmark index fell 0.2 per cent, retreating from a three-year high after a weekend of violence raised fears of escalating unrest. The UAE issued a reassuring message yesterday about the health of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan after he surgery following a stroke. "The crown prince of Abu Dhabi has reassured the kings and leaders of brotherly states as to the health of His Highness the president of the state, and said he is in a stable condition,state news agency WAM reported.
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