* Emaar benefits from investors’ renewed optimism
* Dubai Islamic Bank rises further after strong Q1 results
* Abu Dhabi lenders mixed
* Blue chips lift Qatar’s bourse
* Saudi Arabia plays catch-up with other Gulf markets
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, May 4 (Reuters) - Dubai’s bourse led gains in the Gulf on Sunday as investors launched a fresh rally and shares in developer Emaar Properties surged to a six-year high.
Emaar gained 6.3 percent to 10.45 dirhams, the level last seen in May 2008, on increased volume and helped Dubai’s benchmark jump 3.3 percent, also the highest level since 2008.
Dubai’s largest-listed company launched a 66-storey residential tower in Downtown Dubai on Sunday, and announced sales for the development would start simultaneously in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore on May 10.
“I think the sentiment is very good and people have realised that the profit-taking we saw last week was short-lived,” said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor.
Dubai Islamic Bank also contributed to the uptick, rising 5.5 percent to extend gains that started on Thursday when the lender posted a doubling of first-quarter net profit.
The bank also said it was in talks to buy a 40 percent stake in an Indonesian Islamic lender.
Other property and banking stocks also rose on Sunday.
Abu Dhabi’s banks, on the other hand, were mixed, leaving the index with a marginal gain of 0.04 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 2.6 percent while another large lender, First Gulf Bank, slid 1.2 percent.
Doha’s bourse gained 1.0 percent on rising volume, continuing the rally that started last week. Industries Qatar and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan were the main supports, adding 1.5 percent each.
At 12,854 points, the index remains below its all-time high of 12,962 points which it hit last month.
Saudi Arabia’s main index rose 1.0 percent, lifted, just like in the previous session, by petrochemicals and cement makers, as well as banks.
Petrochemical stocks gained 1.3 percent while cement makers rose 2.6 percent and banks added 1.1 percent.
The kingdom’s index has gained 14.3 percent this year, trailing markets in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Bahrain.
“Saudi Arabia has fallen behind other markets and may be catching up now,” said Henin from the National Investor.
* The index rose 3.3 percent to 5,247 points.
* The index gained 0.04 percent to 5,060 points.
* The index climbed 1.0 percent to 12,854 points.
* The index rose 1.0 percent to 9,755 points.
* The index slipped 0.07 percent to 7,426 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 1,440 points.
* The index climbed 0.3 percent to 6,764 points. (Editing by Praveen Menon)