Saudi Arabia's stock market rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday as nearly all its banks gained, while other major Middle Eastern markets were mixed.
Saudi's index closed 1.1% higher with National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender, gaining 2.7% and Al Rajhi Bank adding 1%.
The index has gained nearly 16% year-to-date, outperforming its major Gulf peers in a rally led by foreign investors, who have been net buyers of Saudi stocks every month this year.
A third tranche of the FTSE Russell emerging market index will kick in this month after Saudi stocks were included in two tranches in March and April.
Late last month, the Saudi equity market joined the MSCI Emerging Market index, which is expected to trigger billions of dollars of foreign fund inflows.
The Abu Dhabi index added 0.4% with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, increasing 0.8%.
Aldar Properties was up 1.1% after saying that it launched a new 1.7 billion dirhams ($463 million) residential project.
Qatar's index gained 0.4%, led by a 1.3% gain in market heavyweight Industries Qatar. Commercial Bank rose 2.4% after a stock split of its shares taking effect earlier this week.
A 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9, aiming to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares.
In Dubai, the index dipped 0.4% with Emaar Properties, the emirate's largest listed developer, shedding 0.9% and Dubai Investments losing 1.5%.
Egypt's blue-chip index declined 0.3%, pressured by its tobacco producer Eastern Company which was down 2.9%.
Palm Hills Development fell 2.8% after on Tuesday posting a 37% drop in its first-quarter profit.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))