Dubai, Feb 23 (IANS) Gulf Arab stock markets have been declining since last week despite the surging oil prices that normally support the regional stock indices, Xinhua reported.

While political tensions in Bahrain eased Tuesday, the turmoil in Libya worsened.

Qatar’s local stock market QE was the main loser as its benchmark index dived 3.57 percent to close at 8,185.24 points. Investors dumped financial and real estate firms in particular.

At Dubai’s local bourse DFM, the main index DFM General closed 2.44 percent lower at 1,479.41. Market bellwether Emaar Properties ended down 2.01 percent at 2.92 dirhams. On a year-to-date basis, the DFM posted the largest loss among all Gulf Arab exchanges.

Earlier in the day, the DFM management announced the launch of the ‘Stock Portfolio Inquiry Call Service’, a voice portal tailored to meet evolving investor needs and a first of its kind service amongst the region’s financial markets.

With the new phone service, investors can instantly track their investment and transaction details of DFM and NASDAQ Dubai listed companies.

At the sheikhdom’s international market NASDAQ Dubai, the FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed at 1,522.75, off 3.66 percent from the previous close. Shares of port operator DP World plummeted seven percent to close at a five-month low of 0.505 dollar.

NASDAQ Dubai’s management announced that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has joined NASDAQ Dubai’s equity derivatives market as its first general clearing member.

In Abu Dhabi, the ADX General Index weakened 1.58 percent to close at 2,578.79. Shares of First Gulf Bank plummeted 6.12 percent, finishing at 16 dirhams ($4.36). Kuwait’s KSE Market or Price Index dipped 0.13 percent to close at 6,417.7 points.

The Tadawul market in Saudi Arabia declined 0.35 percent to finish at 6,277.03. The Kingdom Holding Company recovered, closing 7.47 percent higher at 9.35 Saudi riyals ($2.52). The Kingdom Holding suffered heavy losses earlier this week after its offer to buy 25 percent of Kuwait’s telecom subsidiary Zain KSA was turned away.