Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Thursday amid rebounding bank shares, while all major Gulf markets were lifted after recent sell-offs.
The Saudi index was up 1% in early trade with all its banks rising.
Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank added 2.7% and 0.7% respectively after their shareholders approved a planned merger.
Telecom operators Saudi Telecom rose 1.8% and Etihad Etisalat was up 1.1% after HSBC raised their target prices.
In Dubai, the index was up 0.4%, lifted by real estate shares with its blue-chip developer Emaar Properties increasing 1.4%.
Amusement park operator DXB Entertainment gained 2.7%, rebounding from last session's decline. Earlier this week, it posted a wider first-quarter loss.
Islamic Arab Insurance rose 2.4% on higher first-quarter gross written contributions.
Qatar's index was also up 0.3% buoyed by its banking stocks. Lender Masraf Al Rayan added 0.6%, while Mesaieed Petrochemical increased 1.8%.
Mesaieed has been rising since the stock was added to the MSCI index earlier this week.
The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1% to snap a three-day losing streak. Energy firm Dana Gas D traded 1.2% higher following its inclusion into MSCI emerging markets small cap index.
(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;))