First Gulf Bank's shares jumped to a two-week high yesterday after Abu Dhabi's third-biggest bank eased its limitations on investment by international buyers.
The bank's board voted in June to increase the amount of its shares that could be purchased by overseas fund managers to 25 per cent from 15 per cent, a decision that came into effect yesterday.
The bank's shares rose 2.4 per cent to Dh14.75. International investors currently own 14.02 per cent of the bank's stocks.
First Gulf Bank got off to a slow start with low volumes traded yesterday, but it remained an attractive stock in the eyes of many international investors, said Talal Touqan, the head of research at Al Ramz Securities.
"[The bank] tops the list of most of the banks in terms of fundamental value," he said. "It'll start drawing attention, but slowly."
The increased cap on international investment may also convince strategic investors from overseas to take a look, he added.
The lender joined other banks, such as National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, in nudging the capital's stock market index higher.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index rose 0.5 per cent to 2,436.21, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index increased 0.2 per cent to 1,370.44.
Construction companies with exposure to Egypt made headway as the country's elections proceeded peacefully.
Emaar Properties led stocks higher in Dubai, with stocks leaping 4.4 per cent to Dh2.60.
Oil prices leapt yesterday, following Sudan's announcement of a blockade of oil exports from South Sudan and amid growing optimism that agreement was being reached among European governments on how to tackle the euro-zone's crisis. .