Egypt crisis may keep investors at bay

Egypt's deepening political crisis may impact investor sentiment on Wednesday, as the country's army called for talks on national unity amid continuing anti-government protests.

Egypt's armed forces chief and Defence Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for discussions in response to a destabilising series of protests since President Mohamed Mursi awarded himself sweeping powers on November 22 to push through a new constitution shaped by his Islamist allies in a referendum on Saturday.

Egypt's index gained 0.8 percent on Tuesday recouping some losses from a sharp correction last week. However, many remain wary of the uncertainty in the country.

The country's finance minister also disclosed that a US$4.8bn International Monetary Fund loan, seen as a cornerstone of its economic recovery hopes, would be delayed until next month.

In the UAE, telecom firms du and Etisalat may see further pressure as investors were concerned over new taxes, or royalty fees, set by the government which were higher than analysts had expected.

Du plunged to a nine-week low while Etisalat fell to its lowest close since June 7.

Global markets may offer some resistance with Asian shares rising on the back of strength in global equities markets, firmer economic sentiment in Germany and hopes of a deal from US budget talks.

Petrochemical stocks in Saudi Arabia may see further gains as Brent crude held above US$108 a barrel on Wednesday.

The kingdom's index gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday.

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