Most Middle Eastern stocks ended lower on Thursday with the Egyptian bourse posting its biggest weekly loss in nearly three years after news that Credit Suisse’s largest investor said it could not provide the lender with more financial assistance.
A week ago 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 Arabia’s benchmark index retreated 0.7%, weighed down by a 1.4% fall in Retal Urban Development Co and a 2.9% slide in the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank SNB.
The chair of SNB, which last year acquired an almost 10% stake in Credit Suisse, said on Wednesday the bank was not considering any specific international opportunities.
Major Gulf bourses tumble as Credit Suisse fears spook investors
The lender has lost more than $26 billion in market value since Oct. 27 after committing to invest in the embattled Credit Suisse.
Egypt’s blue-chip index inched 0.1% lower, with Commercial International Bank losing 1%. The Egyptian index posted a weekly loss of more than 10%.
In Egypt, the increasingly large initial public offering (IPO) program could become a growth factor for the stock market and could help reverse the current downtrend, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.
“While international investors have been on the selling side lately, IPOs and a subduing banking crisis could help attract them back.”
Dubai’s main share index fell 0.1%, hit by a 1.4% fall in toll operator Salik Co, while Aramex finished 4% lower after the logistics firm slashed its annual dividend.
In Abu Dhabi, the index retreated 0.9%, hitting its lowest since late January.
The Qatari index declined 2%, weighed down by a 10% slide in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar as the stock went ex-dividend.
Among other losers, sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan and Commercial Bank tumbled 3.6% and 2.2% respectively. Both lenders were trading ex-dividend.
========================================= SAUDI ARABIA retreated 0.7% to 9,977 ABU DHABI fell 0.9% to 9,442 DUBAI lost 0.1% to 3,307 QATAR dropped 2% to 9,910 EGYPT lost 0.1% to 14,704 BAHRAIN eased 0.1% to 1,897 OMAN down 0.2% to 4,888 KUWAIT declined 0.8% to 7,840 =========================================