Stock markets in the Gulf were firm early on Tuesday, supported by opinion polls and bookmakers’ odds suggesting the “Remain” camp might win Britain’s referendum on European Union membership this week, and as oil held over US$50 a barrel.
In Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Abu Dhabi pulled back 1.7 per cent after surging 20 per cent in the previous two days on news of its merger talks with First Gulf Bank.
But FGB edged up 0.4 per cent, and Union National Bank added 2.1 per cent after Arqaam Capital said in a note that after the proposed merger between NBAD and FGB, “we expect UNB to be next”.
It said Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank might offer substantial premium to UNB shareholders in a merger; ADCB shares did not change hands in early trade.
Dubai’s index was up 0.3 per cent, buoyed by mid- and large cap stocks. Dubai Parks and Resorts climbed 1.4 per cent.
Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.2 per cent after half an hour of trade with the main support from petrochemical shares. Saudi Basic Industries was up 0.3 per cent.
Real estate developer Knowledge Economic City gained 0.7 per cent after it sold a plot of land for 22.8 million Saudi riyals in Medina to International Medical Center, an affiliate of Fitaihi Holding Group, which plans a project on the site. Shares in Fitaihi were up 0.6 per cent.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter