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Financial markets in the Gulf suffer sharp decline

February 13, 2014 at 12:00 am

Gulf stock markets have suffered sharp declines due to fears of an impending military intervention in Syria. Dubai’s share price declined by 7.01 per cent, while Saudi Arabia’s share price declined by 4.12 per cent.

The Saudi stock market – the largest in the Arab world – lost 155 shares out of 157 traded shares. The index traded at 7722.7 points. Saudi investments in the real estate, transportation and insurance sectors all suffered considerable losses.

Financial analyst Turki Fadak told AFP that, “by the end of last week the Saudi market had recorded its highest levels since the global financial crisis in 2008. At the beginning of this week, the stock market dropped slightly to achieve regular and expected profit. However, today the stock market dramatically dropped due to fears of a military strike against Syria – not because of economic reasons.” Fadak believes that the market will drop more during the next couple of days, and expected minor declines once the news of the strike is announced.

The Dubai stock market fell 7.01 per cent. The drop impacted all investment sectors amid a large trading volume that exceeded 1.75 billion dirhams (476 million dollars). The real estate company Emaar’s share price declined by 8.36 per cent. This is the biggest drop the Dubai stock market has experienced since the Emirate’s most acute financial crisis in 2009. The index closed on Tuesday at 2549.61 points.

The Abu Dhabi market closed 2.83 per cent down. The majority of investment sectors suffered declines while the real estate sector suffered the biggest loss.

Kuwait’s market declined by 2.92 per cent, closing at 7766.35 points. The real estate, financial services, and energy sectors suffered the biggest investment declines.

Doha recorded a decline of 1.28 percent.

The Bahrain and Muscat stock markets recorded the least severe declines of 1 per cent and 1.23 per cent, respectively.

Gulf stock markets and global stock markets dropped amid fears of a major military escalation in Syria. AFP reports Saudi financial analyst Bishr Bakhit saying: “The political unrest Syria has inflicted the stock markets. We have seen this scenario several times in the past. These kinds of risks have negative impacts on the stock markets.” However the analyst predicted that the market would rebound after more details of the anticipated strike against Syria are revealed.