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Mon 3 Sep 2012 10:50 AM

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Gulf seen lower; QNB picks JP Morgan as advisor

Most Gulf markets finished lower in the previous session after the US put off further monetary easing

Gulf seen lower; QNB picks JP Morgan as advisor
Gulf markets are seen trading lower amid a lack of catalysts and thin news flow.

Gulf markets are seen trading lower amid a lack of catalysts and thin news flow, while a long weekend in the US is likely to keep some investors on the sidelines as they wait for market direction.

Asian shares edge up on Monday after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept the door open for further stimulus if needed, while weak economic indicators across the region raised hopes for additional growth-bolstering steps in Asia as well.

The European Central Bank (ECB) takes the spotlight with its policy meeting on Thursday, where markets have been expecting the bank to outline, and possibly offer, some details of its bond-buying scheme aimed at driving down borrowing costs for highly-indebted euro zone members such as Spain and Italy.

"There's a long weekend in US and there isn't any regional catalyst," says Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. "Our markets will look to direction from ECB."

Khan says investors are likely to sell some stocks that have rallied in recent weeks and trade sideways to lower until third-quarter earnings are announced.

US markets are closed on Monday for the Labour Day holiday.

Qatar National Bank, the state lender seeking to boost its regional presence through acquisitions, has hired JP Morgan Chase to advise on its planned buy of Societe Generale's Egyptian arm, three sources said.

Egypt's bourse rallied on Sunday on talks of QNB's possible stake purchase in SG's unit National Societe Generale Bank. QNB' shares closed 0.4 percent lower in lacklustre trade.

Most Gulf markets finished lower in the previous session after the US put off further monetary easing.

Elsewhere, shareholders in Kuwait's Global Investment House approved a plan for the company's US$1.7bn debt restructuring that will create new special purpose vehicles to take on its debts.

In other news, Kuwait telecoms operator Zain has changed its management structure, creating the positions of deputy CEO and chief operating officer.

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