MOSCOW, November 16 (Sputnik) — Stock markets in Saudi Arabia have retreated during the past four days because of the slump in oil prices, while Qatari shares edged up on the FIFA decision that 2022 World Cup may be staged in the Middle Eastern nation despite the recently reported ethics violations.
OPEC’s most important oil producer has suffered stock market losses for the fourth consecutive day as Saudi Tadawul All Share Index contracted 1.3 percent, to its lowest in a month, according to Bloomberg data. The most affected by the slump were Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), a leading global petrochemicals enterprise, losing 1.6 percent of the stock, and the nation’s financial sector, namely Al Rajhi Bank, falling by 1.7 percent. Surprisingly, oil-producing Qatar has been unaffected, as its national QE Index rose by 0.11 percent.
The financial volatility in Saudi Arabia, heavily reliant on oil exports, is explained by falling oil prices. Some oil-producing nations have expressed a desire to cut petroleum exports in order to boost prices, however, Saudi Arabia is not ready to curb global supply as Riyadh fears losing some of its market share, in particular, in China.
“Despite several assurances from government officials that Saudi is okay with cheaper oil, the equities market continues to reflect investors’ apprehension that oil prices can ultimately impact the kingdom’s economy and its spending plans,” Ahmed Shehada of the Abu Dhabi-based NBAD Securities LLC said as quoted by Bloomberg.
FIFA has reassured investors in Qatar, having said that any violations in the nation’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup were not enough to review other host candidates, meaning the championship will likely take place in Qatar. This will be the first ever football World Cup held in the Middle East, and the nation’s government plans on investing some $200 billion on sports infrastructure development; constructing new stadiums, roads, railways and a new city for the planned preparation of the event.
The football regulator’s statement “indicates that all that money announced and committed to build stadiums and infrastructure to host the event will now be spent,” Tariq Qaqish of Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC said. “Investors will be more confident about their medium- to long-term investments in Qatari stocks.”
Stocks in other oil-producing Middle Eastern nations fell as Dubai’s DFM slid 1.2 percent, Libyan LYX slightly decreased by 0.19 percent, with the losses motivated by the slump in global oil prices.