Telecom stocks lifted Egypt's bourse for a second day yesterday after France Telecom finalized a deal to buy most of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology's (OTMT) stake in Mobinil, and most Gulf bourses also rose.
The deal, yet to be approved by the Egyptian regulator, will earn OTMT 1.5 billion euros ($1.97 billion). The regulator's chairman said it would give its response next week.
"The news around the telecom sector is pushing the market up," said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities. "I don't think there is anything new. It is just reviving memories of telecoms."
Egypt's main index climbs 1.8 percent, with OTMT gaining 5.2 percent and Mobinil adding 1.2 percent.
Orascom Telecom rose 1.5 percent and Telecom Egypt climbed 3.1 percent.
In Dubai, contractor Arabtec helped lift the bourse after it nominated two Aabar executives Aabar as board members, bringing to four the number of board members from the fund.
"Most probably, Aabar will try to favor Arabtec going forward in terms of work flow," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
Shares in the contractor rose 0.9 percent, taking its year-to-date gains to 117 percent.
Aabar increased its stake in the builder to over 10 percent earlier this month, making it the largest shareholder. The purchase, along with market interest, has lifted the share.
Dubai's index finished 0.4 percent higher, up for a second session in five. The market is up 24 percent this year.
"There is still some juice in the market due to the fact that a big part of the rally was done by micro-caps but the bluechips didn't perform very well," said Henin. "We could have a second leg and... it could be the bluechips outperforming."
Abu Dhabi's benchmark dipped 0.4 percent to its lowest level since Feb. 20.
In Doha, Qatar Islamic Bank gained 0.8 percent after it posted a 20.9 percent jump in first-quarter net profit, beating analysts' estimates.
The benchmark closed 0.3 percent up, trading sideways as investors seemed unexcited by earnings numbers. Many firms are yet to post quarterly results.
Heavyweight Industries Qatar climbed 1.1 percent and lender Masraf Al-Rayan gained 0.9 percent.
Gainers outnumbered losers 11 to nine.
Elsewhere, Oman's bourse rallied to a nine-month closing high, with the index up 1.3 percent.
Raysut Cement jumped 4.5 percent and Al Jazeera Steel Products added 3.5 percent.
"The market's underlying strength was intact and though we didn't see it perform well in Q1, earnings expectations are a trigger," said Kanaga Sundar, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of research.
Analysts were bullish on earnings for industrial firms.
"We see the market touching the 6,000 psychological level soon, with industries sector the major factor. We expect it to post 29 percent growth year-on-year," Sundar added.
In Kuwait, the index rose 0.4 percent in its third straight gain, with National Bank of Kuwait climbing 1.9 percent and Kuwait Finance House up 2.7 percent.