Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued to fall in early trade on Wednesday because of concern about the economic impact of its anti-corruption purge, but other bourses in the region began to stabilise.
The Saudi index was 1.0 percent lower after half an hour of trade. Shares in companies linked to people detained in the investigation slid further.
Al Tayyar Travel, whose founder Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar was detained, was down 4.8 percent after plunging 10 percent on each of the previous two days. It was the market’s most heavily traded stock.
Kingdom Holding, the investment vehicle of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, fell 1.0 percent after losing 21 percent over the previous three days. The stock is now estimated to be close to or below its book value.
Some Saudi blue chips were only marginally lower, however, with Saudi Basic Industries edging down 0.2 percent.
In statements late on Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi central bank sought to ease worries about the probe.
They said that while individuals were being targeted and having their bank accounts frozen, national and multinational companies – including those wholly or partly owned by individuals under investigation – would not be disrupted.
After falling for three days because of concern that the Riyadh purge could hurt Saudi portfolio and real estate investment in Dubai, the emirate’s stock index was flat. DAMAC Properties, which had been hit particularly hard, was up 0.3 percent.
Abu Dhabi was also flat while Kuwait and Qatar edged down just 0.2 percent.