Emirates NBD fell the most in a week as the country’s largest bank by assets was cut to “sell” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC and NBAD dropped more than 2 per cent. The DFM General Index lost 2.6 percent to 1,831.41, its lowest close since December 13.
“The economic outlook is still uncertain and we don’t know how badly Dubai’s debt problem will hurt banks’ balance sheets,” said Chamel Fahmy, senior regional sales trader at Beltone Securities Brokerage in Dubai. “They will probably need more provisioning to cover their positions. I will stay away from the banking stocks.”
Goldman Sachs also cut Dubai Islamic Bank to “sell,” saying the global financial crisis is gradually forcing a rebalancing of the UAE economy. Emirates NBD lost 3.2 per cent to Dh3.35, Dubai Islamic Bank dropped 2.9 per cent to Dh2.32 and NBAD fell 2.7 per cent to Dh12.85.
Qatar’s DSM 20 Index declined 0.5 per cent, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.2 per cent at 3:07 pm in Riyadh. Muscat’s MSM 30 Index fell less than 0.1 per cent. Markets in Kuwait and Bahrain are closed for a holiday. —
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