Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed higher on Tuesday, led by financials and property shares, while Egypt ended marginally lower as tobacco heavyweight Eastern Company lost more than 3%.
Dubai's main share index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.5% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.5% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.
Amlak Finance surged 14.6%, its biggest intraday gain since Dec. 2019, after signing an agreement with Dubai Land Department allowing customers to invest in properties listed by the firm.
The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.5%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.9%, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank added 1.3%, a day after the sharia-compliant lender said it had raised its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.
However, gains were capped by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) shedding 4.8% after it agreed to finance the UAE's largest gas-fired power plant, expected to cost approximately 4.2 billion dirhams ($1.14 billion).
The blue-chip index in Egypt slipped 0.3%, ending three sessions of gains, hurt by a 3.8% decline in tobacco monopoly Eastern Company.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.8% increase in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 3% gain in Abdullah Al Othaim Markets.
The kingdom is pressing on with plans to double the size and population of its capital city in the next decade, a government official said, despite an economic downturn due to the coronavirus crisis and low oil prices.
In Qatar, the index added 0.5%, driven by a 2.1% gain in Qatar Islamic Bank.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar exceeded 100,000 on Monday, its health ministry said.
SAUDI ARABIA up 0.1% to 7,401 points ABU DHABI gained 0.5% to 4,341 points DUBAI rose 0.5% to 2,098 points QATAR added 0.5% to 9,244 points EGYPT down 0.3% to 11,050 points BAHRAIN was up 0.3% to 1,281 points OMAN slipped 0.2% to 3,503 points KUWAIT was up 0.2% at 5,637 points
($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))