Stocks about to join the MSCI emerging market index lifted bourses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar on Monday while Saudi Arabia posted gains across various sectors as it hit a new six-year high.
Abu Dhabi led the region, up 2.5 per cent and again surpassing the psychological barrier of 5,000 points as it continued to recover from a slump caused by profit-taking last week. It closed at 5,049 points.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, were the main drivers, posting gains of 7.6, 4.9 and 3.2 per cent, respectively. All three banks will become part of the MSCI emerging market index at the end of this week as MSCI upgrades the UAE and Qatar from frontier market status. So will developer Aldar Properties, whose shares added 4.3 per cent.
MSCI picks were also the main supports in Dubai, where the main index rose 1.9 per cent. Developer Emaar Properties added 3.7 per cent, Dubai Islamic Bank was up 7.5 per cent and bourse operator Dubai Financial Market rose 4.2 per cent. Qatar's index added 0.3 per cent on top of last session's all-time high, while Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.5 per cent to 9,822 points, its highest level since May 2008.