Etisalat, real estate stocks boost index while Dubai's stock market also rises on Thursday
Telecommunications firm Etisalat lifted Abu Dhabi's index to a new 53-month high, although most early trading was in property stocks.
Etisalat climbed 2.4 percent to a 21-month high of 10.70 dirhams, with investors seemingly little concerned by Tuesday's below-forecast earnings. Only United Arab Emirates nationals can buy Etisalat shares.
The operator is one of two bidders along with Qatar's Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) for Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom.
Technically, the stock was bullish after breaking this week above the March peak of 10.40 dirhams; a triple bottom formed by the 2012 lows points it up to around 11.50 dirhams in coming months.
Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, which are due to merge in June, gained 1.3 and 0.6 percent respectively, accounting for more than four-fifths of all shares traded.
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.6 percent to 3,272 points, a 53-month high.
In Dubai, Emirates NBD jumped 2.2 percent to a new 53-month high after its first-quarter earnings comfortably beat analysts' forecasts.
"The quality of earnings of the bank has improved over the previous year," Global Investment House wrote in a note. "ENBD has managed to rope in its operating expenses."
The stock is up about 79 percent this year and 18.3 percent this week alone.
Dubai's index rose 0.6 percent to 2,067 points.