Emirates Telecom Group lifts Abu Dhabi, Dubai extends gains

Traders talk with the officials at Bahrain Bourse in Manama
Traders talk with the officials at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Stock exchanges in the United Arab Emirates closed higher on Friday, with Abu Dhabi's main index boosted by a rise in telecom operator Emirates Telecommunications Group - known as E& - (EAND.AD) after the firm raised its stake in UK-based Vodafone Group.

The Abu Dhabi index (.FTFADGI) jumped 0.8%, rising for a fifth session in a row, bolstered by a 3.4% increase in Emirates Telecommunications Group, while the UAE's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) gained 2%.

E&, the UAE's biggest Telecom operator, increased its stake in Vodafone Group (VOD.L) to 13%.

Among other gainers, National Marine Dredging (NMDC.AD) surged 3.1% to hit around a 20-year-high, a day after the firm posted a 30% increase in annual net profit to 1.30 billion dirhams ($353.9 million).

Abu Dhabi's main index posted weekly gain of 2%, while the Dubai index ended the week with 1.6% returns, according to Refinitiv data.

Dubai's benchmark index (.DFMGI) settled 0.5% higher, lifted by a strong performance in financial and industrial sector stocks.

MashreqBank (MASB.DU), which helped Dubai's index to stay in positive territory amid volatile trading, advanced 15%, its highest percentage gain since late September, after the lender with other banks was picked to arrange an issuance of U.S. dollar-denominated sustainable sukuk for Dubai Islamic Bank under its $7.5 billion issuance programme.

However, Islamic Arab Insurance (SALAMA.DU) declined 3.5% after the Sharia-compliant insurer announced the resignation of its CEO Fahim Al Sehhi.

Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra

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