Major stock markets in the Gulf retreated in early trade on Thursday and were on course to extend their losses further following news that Credit Suisse’s largest investor said it could not provide the lender with more financial assistance.
A week ago a start-up lender Silicon Valley Bank in California failed and now a systemic bank in one of Europe’s financial capitals is in enough trouble to seek authorities’ help.
Credit Suisse - which tumbled 24% in the previous session - on Thursday said it would borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank to shore up liquidity and investor confidence after a slump in its shares intensified fears about a global banking crisis.
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 ($1.62 billion).
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.5%, with Saudi National Bank tumbling 3.7%, trading at its lowest since November 2020.
The lender lost almost $27 billion in market value since Oct. 27 after committing to invest in the embattled Credit Suisse.
Elsewhere, oil giant Saudi Aramco was down 1.7%.
Dubai’s main share index, which snapped a six-day losing streak in the previous session, slipped back into negative territory to trade 0.6% lower.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.7%.
The Qatari index declined 2.1%, weighed down by a 9.4% slide in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar as the stock went ex-dividend.
Among other losers, sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan and Commercial Bank slipped 3.9% and 3.1% respectively. Both lenders were trading ex-dividend.