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Stock Market Stalled as Bahrain Protests Continue

Not only do regimes topple and heads of state crumble in response to massive demonstrations in the Middle East, but so too  does the equities market. As protests continue in Bahrain, political uncertainty is causing investors to step back and wait before taking risks on the purchase of stocks.

The Bourses will be open on Thursday in both Bahrain and Qatar but in other Gulf States the markets are scheduled to be closed either for the weekend or for a religious holiday.

Managing Partner of Dubai-based asset management company Frontlane Capital, Hashem Montasser commented on the poor reaction to the Egyptian crisis in the Gulf Region.

“Revolution in Egypt was shrugged off too easily by Gulf markets," he said. "Markets were mispriced in the sense that risk premiums have gone up, but equities prices didn't reflect that. Bahrain has become the catalyst to now re-price Gulf equities."

Calling the attack of an overnight encampment of protesters in a central square in Manama “real terrorism,” the leader of the main Shiite opposition bloc in Bahrain expressed his outrage, and also described seeing at least 50 armored cars traveling in the direction of Pearl Square in Manama.

Montasser added that, as far as investing is concerned, Bahrain has heightened risk for at least the next couple of months."

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