Dubai's stock market rose for the tenth straight session on Wednesday, lifted by its financial shares, while Abu Dhabi was pulled lower by its top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
The Dubai index gained 0.2 percent, hovering around five-month high, with Emaar Properties adding 1.2 percent and Mashreq Bank jumping 5.3 percent.
This month, the latter's retail banking head said it would close 12 of its branches by June as it shifts some of its business online.
Emirates NBD said it would sell 127.5 million shares in Network International for a total of 554.5 million pounds ($725.2 million) through a secondary listing of the shares on the London Stock Exchange.
The bank continues to hold a 25.5 percent stake in the payments processor. The stock was flat.
Saudi Arabia's index increased 0.3 percent, with most of its banking shares gaining. Riyad Bank was up 2.2 percent and Al Jazira Bank increased 1.3 percent.
National Agriculture Marketing Company jumped 6.8 percent. Its board proposed a rights issue to raise 150 million riyals ($40 million).
On Wednesday, the company was fined 20,000 riyals by the Capital Markets Authority for a regulatory rule violation.
But market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.4 percent as it traded ex-dividend.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.4 percent, led by 1.1 percent fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and 1.6 percent slide in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
Last week, the banks denied they were in merger talks after a news report said the emirate was considering combining them.
On Monday, Qatar filed lawsuits against three banks including First Abu Dhabi Bank, accusing the trio of overseas currency manipulation which caused billions of dollars of damage to Qatar's economy.
Qatar's blue-chip index edged up 0.2 percent, lifted by a 1.9 percent gain in its largest sharia-compliant lender Qatar Islamic Bank.
The Egyptian index moved 0.1 percent higher, partly on back of its blue-chip stock Talaat Mostafa Group Holding. The realtor was up 1.2 percent.
($1 = 0.7646 pounds)
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
($1 = 3.7503 riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))