DUBAI, March 1 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank led gains on the emirate’s bourse as investors cheered the lender’s cash dividend and bonus shares announcement, but failed to help Dubai’s index extend a rally.
Shares in FGB rose 4.7 percent to close at a 41-month high. It approved plans on Thursday to double its paid-up capital through a bonus share issue and distribute a cash dividend of 1 dirham ($0.27) per share.
Other banks also rallied, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi rising 2.2 percent.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark climbed 0.5 percent to 2,624 points, a seven-month high.
In Dubai, the index slipped from Wednesday’s 15-month closing high as investors cashed in ahead of the weekend.
Bellwether Emaar Properties led the decline, falling 2.9 percent. Emirates NBD shed 2.4 percent and contractor Arabtec dipped 3.6 percent.
“We’re watching out for more profit-taking over the next few sessions and for an attractive re-entry point that’ll trigger the next leg-up,” said Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al Masah Capital.
Other Gulf markets ended mixed ahead of the weekend.
Qatar’s index eased 0.06 percent, giving back the session’s gains and taking year-to-date losses to 0.4 percent.
Doha Bank dropped 6 percent as investors cashed out after its ex-dividend date. The lender will pay 4.5 rials ($1.24) per share.
“Qatar is holding its ground with near average volumes -- interest has shifted to riskier markets like UAE, Saudi and Egypt over the past few weeks, but solid fundamentals are intact in Doha,” Aboulhosn added.
Elsewhere, both the Oman index and the Kuwait bourse edged up to record eight-month highs.
Muscat’s Transgulf Holding extended gains in heavy trade, rising 1.4 percent to a 13-month closing high.
Dhofar Investment Development climbed 2.5 percent and Bank Dhofar rose 0.4 percent, while heavyweight Bank Muscat weighed with a 0.5 percent decline.
The index edged up 0.07 percent to, its highest finish since July 2011.
“The month of March would typically see the corporate dividend adjustments in the local market, which may limit the upside rally,” Gulf Baader Capital Markets said in a note. “We continue to see the market trading above its medium-term support level of 5,730 points.”
Kuwait’s index added 0.1.
Gulf Finance House slipped 6.9 percent. The firm swung to a full-year profit in 2011 as the troubled sharia-compliant investment firm said its restructuring plan, which included significant cost-cutting, helped reverse its fortunes.
Its Bahrain-listed shares ended flat.
* The index gained 0.5 percent to 2,624 points.
* The index fell 1.6 percent to 1,702 points.
* The benchmark eased 0.06 percent to 8,742 points.
* The index ticked up 0.07 percent to 5,842 points.
* The measure gained 0.1 percent to 6,134 points.
* The measure eased 0.06 percent to 1,148 points. (Editing by Reed Stevenson)