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Dubai's stock market may stay subdued for months as corporate profit growth slows and investors' attention and money shifts to Saudi Arabia, which is about to open its market to direct foreign investment.For the last several years, Dubai has been the focus for many investors seeking to ride the Gulf Arab economies' economic boom. The combined earnings of Dubai's 18 leading listed companies rose 37 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Thomson Reuters data; in the previous quarter, they surged 78 percent year-on-year.Few predict a downturn resembling Dubai's property crash of 2008-10; the market is much healthier and less leveraged now.The overall outlook for corporate earnings growth in Dubai is still better than it is for Saudi Arabia, where petrochemical companies' bottom lines have been ravaged by the oil price drop; profits at the top 90 listed Saudi companies are forecast to rise 5.6 percent this year, Thomson Reuters data shows.But in contrast to Dubai, Saudi earnings growth appears to be accelerating; profits expanded 2.5 percent in 2014 .
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