Persian Gulf stocks fell, sending Dubai's index lower for a seventh day, as the region braced for an economic slowdown, led by the real-estate industry, TehranTimes reported.
Emaar Properties PJSC, the Middle East's largest developer, dropped to the lowest since September 2004. Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the country's biggest bank that complies with Muslim law, fell the most in three weeks. Bank Muscat SAOG, Oman's largest bank, declined for a fourth day.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index tumbled 5.5 percent to 1,989.64 at 1:25 p.m. local time, extending last week's 25 percent slump. In Qatar, the DSM 20 Index retreated 5.1 percent, bringing the seven-day drop to 25 percent. Oman's Muscat Securities Market 30 Index slid 6.1 percent to 5,846.19, its lowest close since May 2007.
"Investors are panicking and overreacting, I've seen clients selling shares they bought for their grandkids." Vyas Jayabhanu, head of Al Dhafra Financial Brokerage LLC, said in an interview from Abu Dhabi on Sunday. "The biggest fear is that the demand for real-estate is going to slump. I won't touch banks and developers in this market."
Dubai's index has slumped 66 percent this year, while Qatar's measure dropped 42 percent an Oman's 35 percent. Persian Gulf stock markets plunged as oil prices declined, the credit crisis made it more difficult for the region's companies to borrow money, and the real-estate market slowed.
Crude oil closed at $57.04 a barrel on Nov. 14 in New York, down 61 percent from its July record, as slowing economies of the major consuming nations cut demand for fuels. The oil-rich Middle East has used record crude income to embark on infrastructure projects including man-made islands and the world's tallest tower. Dubai property prices, including villas and apartments, fell 4 percent in the month to October, while in Abu Dhabi they declined 5 percent, HSBC Holdings Plc said last week.
Emaar retreated 7.9 percent to 2.93 dirhams, the lowest since September 2004. Qatar Islamic Bank lost 9.3 percent, the most since Oct. 26, to 63.7 riyals. Bank Muscat, retreated 7.5 percent to 0.848 rial, bringing the four-day drop to 16 percent.
Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index lost 2.1 percent, bringing the slump for the year to 55 percent. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index dropped 0.4 percent and the Bahrain All Share Index declined 0.5 percent.
The Kuwait stock exchange was shut for trading after a court last week ordered the closure until Nov. 17 to protect investors from further losses.
Aramex PJSC climbed 5 percent to 1.05 dirhams after the Middle East's biggest courier service company said it will buy back shares. The company did not say how many of its shares it planned to purchase.
Dlala Brokerage & Investment Holding Co. declined 3.3 percent to 20.6 riyals. The Qatari asset manager and stockbroker will form a new real-estate company with capital of 30 million riyals ($8.25 million).
Sorouh Real Estate Co., Abu Dhabi's second- largest property developer by market value, climbed 3.4 percent to 2.75 dirhams after it appointed Samer Abu-Hijleh as chief operations officer.