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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saudi Stocks Drop for a Fifth Day on Growing Middle East Unrest - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian shares retreated for the fifth day on concern political unrest in neighboring countries may hurt the Arab world’s largest economy.

The Tadawul All Share Index dropped 2 percent to 6,356,29, the lowest level since Feb. 1, at 11:24 a.m. in Riyadh. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker, slumped 2.7 percent. Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s largest publicly traded lender by market value, declined 0.6 percent.

“With geopolitical tensions rising in neighboring countries, sentiment has turned negative,” said Fuad Aghabi, investment director at Ajeej Capital in Riyadh. “While fundamentals which still remain strong have taken a back seat,” traders await clarity on the political situation.

Alwaleed's Kingdom: no deal reached for Zain Saudi | Reuters

Saudi investment group Kingdom Holding 4280.SE said on Saturday its offer for a key stake in Zain Saudi 7030.SE expired after it failed to reach a deal with the seller, Kuwait's Zain (ZAIN.KW).

Kingdom Holding had been seen as the favorite over rival bidder Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH (Batelco) to buy a one quarter holding in Zain's debt-troubled Saudi subsidiary, valued at $750 million.

"The board of Zain Kuwait did not provide Kingdom Holding with an answer with regard to the presented offer so the offer period expired without reaching any agreement," Kingdom Holding said in a statement issued via the Saudi bourse.

(Video here) Banque Saudi Fransi's Sfakianakis on Bahrain, Markets - Video - Bloomberg

John Sfakianakis, the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, talks about the political unrest in Bahrain and its impact on financial markets in the region. Credit-default swaps on Saudi Arabia surged on concern unrest in neighboring Bahrain will spread to the world’s biggest oil exporter. The cost of insuring Bahrain’s government debt rose for a fifth day. Sfakianakis speaks with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness." (Source: Bloomberg)

Saudi Arabia Default Swaps Jump on Bahrain Contagion Concerns

Credit-default swaps on Saudi Arabia surged on concern political unrest in neighboring Bahrain will spread to the world's biggest oil exporter.

Swaps on Saudi Arabia, used as a measure of confidence in the country although they reference no debt, jumped 10.5 basis points to 137, the highest since July 2009, according to CMA. Contracts on Bahrain rose for a fifth day, climbing 18 basis points to 302, the highest in 17 months.

Governments are cracking down on pro-democracy activists as uprisings that toppled autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt spread to Libya, Iran, Algeria and Yemen. Clashes in Bahrain, a close Saudi ally, may increase as regime supporters and opposition protesters stage counter-demonstrations after the funeral of two men killed by security forces.

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