Dubai shares hit a three-month high on Tuesday as all but one of its real estate firms gained, while Egypt's blue-chip index declined, primarily led by Commercial International Bank (COMI).
The Dubai index .DFMGI rose 0.9 percent to reach its highest in nearly three months. The index, which was one of the world's worst performing markets last year, has risen 6.1 percent year-to-date, mainly triggered by strong fourth-quarter earnings from real estate firms.
Emaar Malls rose 2.2 percent following Monday's 475.5 million dirhams ($129.47 million) purchase of the 49 percent of e-commerce fashion website Namshi it did not already own from Global Fashion Group (GFG).
Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.4 percent, with Commercial International Bank, the stock with the largest weight on the index, sliding 2.4 percent.
The index is still up 14.2 percent so far this year, led by COMI, which has risen 18.1 percent.
Ezz Steel Co was down 2.7 percent. Arqaam Capital said it expects another quarter of losses to the tune of 646 million Egyptian pounds in the fourth-quarter as margins are weighed down by subdued prices.
Saudi Arabia's index changed course after falling for three sessions and rose 0.3 percent, with heavyweight petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries gaining 0.8 percent and Al Rajhi Bank adding 0.7 percent.
Al Yamamah Steel increased 0.4 percent after signing a 44.1 million riyal supply contract with Saudi Services.
The Saudi index outperformed its Gulf peers in January in a rally led by foreign investors, who have been net buyers every week this year, according to weekly data from the Saudi exchange. The index is up 8 percent year-to-date.
Qatar's index gained 0.3 percent with Qatar National Bank adding 3.9 percent.
Barwa Real Estate added 1.6 percent after its full-year profit increased to 1.91 billion riyals ($524.73 million) from 1.70 billion riyals a year earlier.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.5 percent with Abu Dhabi National Hotels surging 14.8 percent.
SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 0.3 pct to 8,456 points
DUBAI The index was up 0.9 pct at 2,684 points
ABU DHABI The index added 0.5 pct to 5,140 points
QATAR The index increased 0.3 pct to 10,256 points
EGYPT The index fell 0.4 pct to 14,887 points
KUWAIT The index gained 0.4 pct to 5,502 points
BAHRAIN The index rose 0.5 pct at 1,415 points
OMAN The index was up 0.5 pct at 4,089 points
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))