Most Gulf stocks rose in early trade on Monday, in line with Asian shares, as the ship blocking the Suez Canal was re-floated, raising hopes the vital waterway could reopen and ease global shipping backlogs.
The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
The Abu Dhabi index advanced 1.7%, buoyed by a 15% surge in International Holding Company, on track to extend gains for a fifth consecutive session.
The firm has gone through rapid expansion across its major business sectors, resulting in a sharp growth in its financials, positioning it for long-term growth.
So far this year, International Holding has risen over 60%.
Elsewhere, shares of Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) soared 14.4% after the firm begun interim manufacturing of a vaccine from China's Sinopharm, part of a joint venture between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based G42.
Under the JV, a new main plant is being built in Abu Dhabi with production capacity of 200 million Hayat-Vax doses a year.
Dubai's main share index gained 0.7%, with Emirates NBD Bank rising 0.9% and Emaar Properties up 1.2%
In Qatar, the index rose 0.2%, helped by a 0.6% increase in the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))