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Tue 17 Mar 2015 12:19 PM

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Stock markets: Gulf consolidates, Kuwait slips on tax plan

Brent crude held near $54 a barrel on Tuesday after touching a six-week low

Stock markets: Gulf consolidates, Kuwait slips on tax plan

Most Gulf stock markets moved little in early trade on Tuesday as oil prices stabilised, but Kuwait was weak after its government said it was looking into imposing a corporate tax on local companies.

Brent crude held near $54 a barrel on Tuesday after touching a six-week low of $52.50 in the previous session.

Dubai's stock index, which had tumbled 5.1 percent earlier this week, edged down 0.4 percent as local stocks were equally split between gainers and losers.

Abu Dhabi edged up 0.3 percent on the back of blue chips Etisalat and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank , up 0.4 and 0.8 percent respectively.

Qatar's benchmark slipped 0.3 percent as two companies sensitive to the oil price, Industries Qatar and Gulf International Services, fell 05 and 1.7 percent respectively. Qatar Islamic Bank added 1.0 percent and was the main support.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's index fell 0.8 percent after Commerce and Industry Minister Abdulmohsen al-Madaj said the cabinet was cooperating with the International Monetary Fund to discuss introducing a corporate tax for local companies. He gave no details.

Launching a new corporate tax would be a major, politically sensitive policy shift for Kuwait, and for the wealthy Gulf oil exporters in general. So far they have relied on their oil revenues to mostly avoid direct taxation of corporate profits.

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