Saudi Arabia's stock market closed on a positive note on Tuesday, supported by gains in financial shares, while Qatar was up a day after the country announced its biggest budget in five years.
The Saudi benchmark index was up 0.7%. But Al Rajhi Bank lost 0.9% and National Commercial Bank fell 1.4%.
On Monday, NCB and Riyad Bank decided to end preliminary merger talks, the two said in separate stock exchange filings. Riyad Bank slid 3.2%.
National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) jumped 4.4%, to its highest since July 2017, after it signed a contract with a saline water conversion company to supply desalinated water from floating stations.
By contrast, Saudi Aramco slipped 0.7% to close at 37.8 riyals, ending four straight days of gains, before it joins the MSCI emerging markets index on Wednesday.
Aramco listed 1.5% of its shares at 32 riyals ($8.53) on the kingdom's Tadawul exchange on Dec. 11 in the world's largest initial public offering (IPO).
The Qatari index ended 1.2% up, led by a 3.9% hike in Qatar National Bank and a 4.9% surge in Mesaieed Petrochemical.
On Monday, Qatar said it plans to spend 1.9% more in 2020 than this year, its biggest budget in five fiscal years. The 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($57.83 billion) budget will go to complete infrastructure projects, including facilities for soccer's 2022 World Cup.
Also, Qatar's 2020 budget statement did not mention introducing a value-added text.
Outside of the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1.7%, with 27 of its 30 stocks rising. The country's largest bank, Commercial International Bank added 2.5% and EFG Hermes leapt 4.6%.
In Dubai, the index gained 0.8%, extending gains for a sixth straight session. Dubai Islamic bank added 1.1% and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was up 1.3%.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4% as Etisalat gained 0.9% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank advanced 2.2%.
($1 = 3.7500 riyals)
($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))