Abu Dhabi's benchmark was lifted by Aldar and Sorouh yesterday as investors bet the emirate's two biggest developers would benefit from a decision by the Executive Council that will require Abu Dhabi Government employees to live in the emirate.
Aldar, the developer behind Yas Island and Ferrari World, jumped 2.3 per cent to Dh1.29. Sorouh, responsible for Reem Island's Sun & Sky Towers, advanced 2.4 per cent to Dh1.24. The stocks accounted for three quarters of volumes traded.
All employees of Abu Dhabi Government departments and agencies will have a one-year grace period to move to the emirate, the state news agency Wam reported.
The move was made to ease congestion on the highway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Lower rents have encouraged many residents of Abu Dhabi to move to Dubai since the property downturn there led prices to fall by as much 45 per cent.
"To start, it is a good move and will help Abu Dhabi's property industry," said Khaldoun Jaradat, a broker at Brokerage House Securities in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.7 per cent to 2,629.44,while the Dubai Financial Market General Index jumped 1.4 per cent to 1,596.27.
Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure slipped 0.1 per cent to 5,785.33; Bahrain's index added 0.2 per cent to 1,074.53; Oman's MSM 30 Index gained 0.5 per cent to 5,620.70; Qatar's QE Index added 0.4 per cent to 8,600.04.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index fell 0.14 per cent to 7,155.77.