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Sun 28 Jun 2015 05:48 PM

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Gulf share prices fall on militant attacks, Greece crisis

Kuwait stock index edges down after ISIL suicide bomber kills 27 people in mosque attack

Gulf share prices fall on militant attacks, Greece crisis

Gulf share price indexes fell on Sunday in reaction to the militant attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia and the Greek debt crisis, while Egypt's rose after an initial public share offer by Emaar Misr was greatly oversubscribed.

The attacks, which killed a total of 66 people, did not appear to represent any immediate threat to the oil exporting economies of the Gulf. The region does not rely on foreign investment and has huge resources which it can devote to keeping the oil flowing.

The Kuwaiti dinar and other Gulf currencies barely moved in the spot and forward foreign exchange markets on Sunday, suggesting there were no major fund flows. US dollar/dinar forwards were quoted higher but well within the range of the last few weeks.

Nevertheless, the Kuwait mosque bombing was the first attack of its kind in the country, and the security breach dampened sentiment among some of the retail investors who dominate the Gulf markets and account for the vast majority of turnover.

The main Kuwaiti stock index edged down 0.2 percent as National Bank of Kuwait sank 1.2 percent.

It came well off its intra-day lows, however, as Gulf Finance House rose 3.4 percent after signing a deal with India's Adani Group which would help it exit an industrial property project in Mumbai. The company said it had received $45 million as part of exit payments from the project developer.

Dubai's market fell 2.2 percent to 4,056 points, falling below its 200-day average at 4,082 points, a negative technical signal.

Heavyweight Emaar Properties lost 2.8 percent and two stocks which dominated activity last week fell sharply: Amlak Finance slid 4.6 percent and Amanat Holding dropped 4.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi's market index slipped 0.9 percent as Aldar Properties retreated 2.9 percent. Qatar's index lost 0.4 percent in a broad-based slide.

Also dampening the markets on Sunday was the decision of European Union governments to refuse funding to Athens, which appeared to make a Greek debt default likely and increase the chances of Greece leaving the euro zone.

Global markets have been preparing for a Greek exit for years and could probably now cope with one, and Gulf economies are insulated from international contagion by heavy government spending. But global oil prices might fall, and this would affect sentiment in Middle East bourses.

The Saudi Arabian market index dropped 1.7 percent to 9,209 points as Petrochemical heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries tumbled 4 percent.

However, telecoms group Zain Saudi climbed 0.8 percent after Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), whose shares remained suspended on Sunday, said it had decided to increase provisions for "Zain account receivables" by 800 million riyals ($213 million) in the second quarter of 2015.

It did not elaborate, but Mobily is embroiled in a 2.2 billion-riyal dispute with Zain Saudi over the application of a 2008 contract under which Mobily would provide domestic roaming and site sharing services to its rival. Its decision to take provisions over the dispute could indicate a positive outcome for Zain.

Egypt's stock index, which had been weakening for weeks, gained 1.3 percent in a broad rally after the Cairo exchange said the second tranche of property company Emaar Misr's IPO was oversubscribed about 36 times.

The listing is expected to be the largest flotation on the Cairo exchange since 2007; Emaar Misr, the Egyptian arm of Dubai's Emaar Properties, attracted subscriptions for 3.23 billion shares worth 12.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.6 billion) after offering 90 million shares.

Now that the offer is completed at least some of the money pledged in subscriptions is expected to flow back into Egyptian stocks in the coming days or weeks.

Tunisia's stock market will open and react on Monday to the attack that killed 39 foreigners in the resort of Sousse.

After the Bardo museum attack in Tunis last March, which killed 23 people, the Tunisian stock index immediately fell 2.5 percent. It began recovering the next day to regain its pre-attack level within three weeks.

This time, however, any recovery could prove slower as the latest attack was on a resort area previously considered safe for tourists.

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