Middle East Shares Mostly Drop In Line with World Stocks, Amid Geopolitical Worries

Middle East Shares Mostly Drop In Line with World Stocks, Amid Geopolitical Worries

Middle East shares mostly fell in line with world stocks and amid geopolitical jitters.

Earlier in the week, Qatari stocks rose on hopes tensions would ease between Qatar and some of its neighboring countries. However, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in an apparent snub of Qatar, did not send their heads of state to this week’s regional summit in Kuwait, which reignited worries and sent shares lower.

Qatari shares even ignored positive news that index compiler MSCI said it would continue to use onshore foreign exchange rates to value Qatari stocks for now, instead of switching to offshore rates, as it had threatened to do. A switch could have reduced Qatari stocks weightings in MSCI’s emerging markets index and put pressure on the market.

In company news, National Industrialisation (Tasnee) slumped after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint aimed at stopping chemical maker Tronox Ltd ( TROX ) from purchasing the titanium dioxide business of Tasnee’s affiliate Cristal.

Saudi Industrial Export Co rose after the market regulator approved its request to reduce its capital to 10.8 million riyals ($2.9 million) from 108 million riyals.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co cut the price range for an IPO of its fuel distribution unit and will sell only a 10% stake in the unit, valuing the potential deal at $900 million.

Saudi Arabia’s main index eased 0.6% to 7,026 points, Dubai inched up 0.02% to 3,395 points, Abu Dhabi rallied 1.1% to 4,311 points, Qatar slid 1.5% to 7,798 points, Egypt fell 0.8% to 14,346 points, Kuwait declined 0.3% to 6,197 points, Bahrain slipped 0.6% to 1,265 points and Oman gave up 0.4% to 5,091 points.

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