Trend Press / Agencies
Saudi Arabia's wealthy individual investors sold shares on Tuesday, with concern over a crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia spreading to the Gulf, pushing major stock markets down.
Saudi Arabia's main index fell 0.7 percent in heavy trading, led by shares of companies associated with people under investigation, including dozens of princes, prominent politicians and senior businessmen.
Fund managers said the market would have closed at a much lower level, but was supported by clear purchases from government-linked funds seeking to prevent panic.
"There has been a massive sale of wealthy individual investors who want to withdraw their money," one fund manager said.
The crackdown on corruption has angered the business community, as it threatens to eliminate nepotism and nepotism in the economy. Many investors fear that people in detention may eventually be forced to sell large holdings of shares.
Bankers have said more than one account has been frozen in Saudi banks so far, raising concerns that firms already facing recession could be further hurt by delayed payments.
Kingdom Holding, the investment arm of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a prominent businessman and a detainee in the crackdown on corruption, has fallen by a daily limit of 10 percent, hitting its losses in the three days since the probe was announced to 21 percent.
The decline marked about $ 2 billion of Prince Alwaleed's wealth, which Forbes estimated earlier at $ 17 billion.
Al Tayyar Travel Group and its founder, Nasser bin Aqil Al Tayyar, also dropped among the detainees, with a maximum daily limit of 10 percent for the second session.
Dallah Health Services Holding fell 2 percent after controlling shareholder Saleh Kamel was held.
The shares of the Red Sea International House to build homes 9.7 percent, after the detention of the Chairman of the Board Amr Al-Dabbagh.
Saudi Arabia's stock market on Tuesday did not show signs of a large drawdown of foreign funds. Many foreign fund managers said the crackdown on corruption carries economic and political risks, but it may be positive for long-term economic reforms in the kingdom.
The number of losers exceeded 150 to 32 today, despite the rise in global benchmark crude to Brent crude to a two-year high of $ 64.44 a barrel, something that is popular with Saudi investors.
In the last two sessions, many banks and other leading stocks posted strong performance, but almost all sectors witnessed a sell-off today. The Saudi Investment Bank achieved the best performance in the market with a rise of 2.4%.
The Saudis are big investors in the GCC stock and real estate markets, and so markets have reacted with concern that the campaign may reduce or possibly withdraw their money flows if Saudi authorities enforce their threat to confiscate illegal assets abroad.
The Dubai index fell 1.8 percent to 3,481 points with Emaar Properties down 1.1 percent and Damac Properties down 6 percent.
The general index of the Abu Dhabi market, the least exposed to Saudi funds, fell 0.4 percent to 4420 points.
Kuwait's index continued its decline, dropping 2.8 percent to 6143 points, with National Bank of Kuwait down 2.8 percent and Agility logistics 4.4 percent.
Qatar's index fell to a one-year low, retreating 1.1 percent to 7931 points.
The main index of the Egyptian stock exchange, "EGX30" 0.1 percentage point to 14054 points, with the continued sales of retail investors, and the commitment of funds and institutions to the role of observer and spectator only.
Bahrain's main index fell 1 percent, after closing the day at 1253 points. Oman's main index closed at 5079 points.