Momentum driving markets in the UAE was tempered yesterday after the regulator approved changes to margin lending rules and said it would crackdown on unlicensed lending, while most other regional bourses scaled higher. Dubai's index slipped 0.2%, easing off Thursday's five-year high. The market gave back early-session gains as brokers told clients to sell shares so margin limits would fall within the amended regulations. Although changes to the lending rules aim to improve trading volumes going forward, the likelihood of penalties for not complying with the set limits sent some brokers scrambling to lower margin levels. Most of the trading on Dubai's bourse was on margin, which is now being cut back, traders said. "Today, margin trading business from what we can see in volumes is low," said Mohammed Ali Yasin , managing director of Abu Dhabi Financial Services . "This is for the short-term as brokers will raise their capital to allow for more leverage." Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.6%, in its fifth consecutive gain, to a new five-year high. Banks supported, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank up 3.5% and Union National Bank 3.9% higher. Analysts expect Abu Dhabi lenders to announce strong dividends in the coming weeks. In Egypt , Cairo's benchmark index added 0.6% to 6,854 points, heading back to the previous peak of 6,876 points - the intraday high of December 26 . The market gained despite fresh violence over the weekend. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's index gained 0.2% to 8,638 points; Oman's measure gained 0.1% to 6,899 points; Kuwait's index was flat at 7,551 points, while Bahrain's benchmark was flat at 1,248 points.
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