Most stock markets in the Gulf gave up early gains to end lower on Wednesday, tracking a decline in global shares, as renewed unease gripped markets after Credit Suisse’s largest investor said it could not provide the Swiss bank with more financial assistance.
Saudi National Bank — the kingdom’s biggest lender — acquired a stake of almost 10% last year after taking part in Credit Suisse’s capital raising and committed to investing up to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.63 billion).
Banking shares, which have been battered following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, resumed their sell-off as the Credit Suisse stock lost almost a quarter of its value, dropping to record lows.
Shares of Saudi National Bank retreated 2.7%, hitting their lowest since February 2021.
The lender lost almost $25 billion in market value since Oct. 27 after committing to invest in the embattled Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse sheds nearly 25%, key backer says no more money
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index declined 1.6%, dragged down by a 2.9% slide in oil giant Saudi Aramco as the stock went ex-dividend, while Retal Urban Development Co fell 1.2%.
In Qatar, the index concluded 1% lower, as most of its constituents were in the negative territory, including Qatar International Islamic Bank, which was down 5.8%.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.7%.
Oil — a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets —extended losses, with Brent crude hitting a three-month low as unease over Credit Suisse spooked world markets, offsetting hopes of a Chinese oil demand recovery.
Dubai’s main share index, which advanced more than 1% in early trade, finished 0.2% higher, ending its six sessions of losses.
A shift in global sentiment after the fears that emerged from the fall of U.S. banks could lead the Dubai market into a recovery phase as investors return to the market, said Ahmed Negm, head of market research MENA at XS.com.
“At the same time, traders will remain attentive to the developments in global markets and central bank decisions this week and the next.”
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index plunged 4.2%, with investment bank EFG Hermes diving more than 12%.
======================================= SAUDI ARABIA lost 1.6% to 10,049 ABU DHABI fell 0.7% to 9,525 DUBAI added 0.2% to 3,310 QATAR dropped 1% to 10,114 EGYPT lost 4.2% to 14,724 BAHRAIN eased 0.4% to 1,899 OMAN down 0.6% to 4,898 KUWAIT gained 0.9% to 7,900 =======================================