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DUBAI: Most major Gulf markets closed higher on Sunday, as investor focus turned to corporate earnings starting this week, while a surge in DAMAC Properties helped the Dubai bourse.

Dubai's main share index ended 0.2% up, with DAMAC Properties surging 11.6%, its biggest intraday gain since March 25.

On Thursday, Maple Invest said that on behalf of DAMAC founder and chairman Hussain Sajwani and his group, it was exploring the possibility of his buying out minority shareholders and taking the company private.

The firm, which is considering several investments in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, has made no offer or agreement to date.

However, the index's gains were limited by losses at Emaar Properties, which retreated 1.1%.

On Friday, S&P Global downgraded the blue-chip developer to a BB+ "junk" rating from an investment grade BBB- score.

It said it expected a 30%-40% slump in Emaar's earnings in 2020, and a 15%-20% dive in overall revenues, while the anticipated recovery next year would be only partial.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2%, helped by a 0.5% rise in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 0.4% gain in Al Rajhi Bank.

Aramco said on Friday it will raise domestic gasoline prices for July, state news TV reported.

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.4%, as the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.7%.

In Qatar, the index was up 0.2%, driven by a 3.1% gain in Qatar Gas Transport.

Amongst others, Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf's largest lender, ended 0.3% higher.

Post trading hours, the lender reported a fall in second-quarter profit after it booked sharply higher loan loss provisions due to the global economic conditions.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index advanced 1.1%, with 27 of its 30 constituents rising including Commercial International Bank, up 1%.