Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday ahead of the usual flurry of corporate results that begins after July 15 each year, with DAMAC Properties leading Dubai shares higher.

Last Thursday, an investment firm said that on behalf of Hussain Sajwani - founder and Chairman of DAMAC Properties - and his group, it was exploring the possibility of his buying out minority shareholders and taking the company private.

Damac jumped 14.2%, its biggest intraday gain since Aug. 2015, as Dubai's main share index gained 0.5%.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index increased 0.4% with Al Rajhi Bank adding 0.7%, while Riyad Bank was up 1.2%.

Saudi Telecom ticked up 0.1% after it extended its memorandum of understanding with Vodafone to acquire the group's shareholding in Vodafone Egypt. 

Back in Dubai, Emaar Properties declined 1.5%. On Friday, S&P Global downgraded the blue-chip developer to a BB+ 'junk' rating from an investment grade BBB- score.It said it expected a 30%-40% slump in Emaar's earnings in 2020, a 15%-20% dive in overall revenues, while the anticipated recovery next year would be only partial.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.3%, supported by a 0.9% gain in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

In Qatar, the index edged up 0.1%, driven by a 2% increase in Qatar Gas Transport.

However, Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, traded flat ahead of its first-quarter earnings announcement.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((; +918061822788;))