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DUBAI: Dubai’s stock market ended higher on Wednesday, reaching its highest in over three years, building on gains from the previous session when stocks jumped following the emirate’s plans to launch a multi-billion dirham market-maker fund and initial public offerings.

Dubai’s main share index jumped 3.8%, as most stocks were trading in the black, including blue-chip developer Emaar Properties with a 7.8% jump, its highest since Oct. 2019.

Dubai plans to launch a 2 billion dirham ($545 million) market-maker fund to boost trading on its stock market, state news agency WAM reported, citing the emirate’s deputy ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

He also said a committee overseeing the stock market’s development approved a goal to double the financial market’s size to 3 trillion dirhams, and that 10 state and state-related firms would be listed on Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

Sheikh Maktoum, who oversees stock markets in the emirate, later tweeted that state-owned utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority would be listed on Dubai bourse in the coming months.

The government’s intent to strengthen the local bourse was widely welcomed as the DFM missed such big events while other neighbouring markets enjoyed new additions and were able to attract liquidity and investors, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

Among other gainers, DFM surged 14.9% to notch its biggest intraday gain in about 18 months.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index dropped 0.6%, hit by a 0.8% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Oil prices fell as industry data pointed to a big build in crude oil and distillate stocks in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, and as pressure mounted on OPEC to increase supply.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, meets on Thursday to review its policy and is expected to reconfirm plans for steady monthly increases despite calls for a raise.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.1%, a day after it reached a record high, with conglomerate International Holding losing 0.2%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index edged up 0.1%, extending gains for a second consecutive session, helped by a 1.2% rise in Commercial International Bank.

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