DUBAI: Salama Insurance surged to its upper circuit and Dar Al Takaful jumped 10 per cent, fanning speculation of a merger even though Salama has denied any such speculation in the past.

Salama Insurance surged to its maximum daily limit of 15 per cent to end at Dh0.606. Dar Al Takaful closed 10.21 per cent higher at Dh0.583. About 60 million shares changed hands in Salama Insurance, its highest since April 16.

“This is for the second time that we have seen this rally despite a denial from the company. The stock might see further recovery,” said an analyst who did not wish to be named.

On May 7, Salama had said they are looking for “opportunities to support its expansion as part of its strategy and the current market situation,” keeping the merger possibility alive in the short to medium term.

Further support was provided by Emirates NBD, which ended 2.7 per cent higher at Dh11.4. Small real estate stocks such as Deyaar, Union Properties and Damac Properties.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 1.17 per cent higher at 2,650.95. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.95 per cent lower at 4,956.25. However, stocks such as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Adnoc Distribution also saw buying.

ADIB closed 2.46 per cent higher at Dh4.58. First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 1.21 per cent lower at Dh14.68.

“Going forward, the regional markets are expected to catch up with the positive trend recorded in the global markets during the previous week. Moreover, trading activity is also expected to pick up as investors return post a week long Eid break,” Allied Investment Partners said in a note.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Tadawul index closed 2.04 per cent higher at 8,690.14. Alinma Bank was 1.16 per cent higher at 24.56 riyals. The Muscat MSM 30 index closed at 3,954.74, up 0.4 per cent.