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Gulf cautious as bargain hunters may eye Qatar

Gulf cautious as bargain hunters may eye Qatar

Gulf markets is likely treading cautiously this Monday as investors globally wait to see if Greece can reach a deal on its debts to avoid a default, while some traders expect Qatar's index to rebound from a three-month low.

January 23, 2012 2:52 by

Asian shares and the euro are steady this morning, with activity subdued due to the Lunar New Year holiday in most of Asia.

Qatar’s index may rebound this week as country’s bullish economic fundamentals help ease investor disappointment over bluechips’ proposed dividends.

“The bulk of the investors, mainly local, were very surprised with dividends but for me the country still offers the best visibility in the region,” says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. “I’m sure the market will come back in flavor in the coming week.”

Tension over Iran’s nuclear programme may add to investors’ risk aversion, with European Union governments expected to agree on Monday new economic sanctions against Iran that includes plans to phase in an oil embargo.

In Kuwait, Global Investment House and Kipco Asset Management Co (KAMCO) have cut nearly 100 jobs in cost-cutting measures as they grapple with difficult market conditions.

Political uncertainty continues to weigh on Kuwait shares, with the country’s index slumping to a seven-year low earlier this mont.

Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority on Sunday said it had hired HSBC to advise on plans to privatise its stock exchange and sell a stake in an initial public offering. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Matt Smith) *image from

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