Political unrest takes toll on Bahrain, Qatar bourses as regional benchmarks tumble
Ongoing protests in Bahrain are seen weighing on
Middle East equities, with nervous investors reluctant to buy
The Qatar and Bahrain bourses are open on
Thursday, but other Gulf Arab markets are closed for the weekend
or a religious holiday.
Regional benchmarks fell a day earlier and further weakness
"Revolution in Egypt was shrugged off too easily by Gulf
markets," says Hashem Montasser, managing partner at Frontlane
Capital, a Dubai-based asset management firm.
"Markets were mispriced in the sense that risk premiums have
gone up, but equities prices didn't reflect that. Bahrain has
become the catalyst to now re-price Gulf equities."
The leader of Bahrain's main Shi'ite opposition bloc said
the storming of a central Manama square where protesters had
camped out overnight was "real terrorism", while more than 50
armoured vehicles were seen travelling towards Pearl Square in
central Manama on Thursday.
"Bahrain has heightened risk for at least the next couple of
months," adds Montasser.