Most Middle Eastern stocks ended lower on Sunday, with Egypt’s stock market leading the decline, in response to Friday’s fall in global shares on fears of contagion following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).
The startup-focused lender became the biggest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis on Friday, roiling global markets and leaving billions of dollars belonging to companies and investors stranded.
In Qatar, the index fell 1.6% as almost all stocks were in negative territory, including Qatar Islamic Bank, which fell 3.9%.
Major bourses in the Gulf in the red on concerns about rising interest rates
According to Daniel Takiedin, managing director MENA at BDSwiss, the Qatari market could also be exposed to the tensions that have emerged in the US this week and could put pressure on share prices in the local banking sector.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.8%, weighed down by a 1.7% drop in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.8% drop in Retal Urban Development CO.
Oil giant Saudi Aramco ended flat, despite announcing a big rise in profits in 2022.
Aramco posted a record annual net profit of $161.1 billion for 2022, up 46% from a year earlier due to higher energy prices, increased volumes of products sold and improved margins for refined products.
Separately, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman officially announced on Sunday the creation of a new national airline, Riyadh Air, with industry veteran Tony Douglas as chief executive, as the kingdom moves to compete with regional transport and tourism hubs.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 3.1%, with 28 of the index’s thirty-one stocks trading in the red, including major lender Commercial International Bank, which fell 1.8%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.8% to 10,384
QATAR fell 1.6% to 10,562
EGYPT lost 3.1% to 15,937
BAHRAIN was down 0.1% at 1,910
OMAN added 0.3% to 4,862
KUWAIT slipped 0.7% to 8,079