Qatar stock market plummets 3% as Gulf ambassadors withdrawn

Shares decline after shock move by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain to recall envoys from Doha

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Qatar’s stock market tumbled on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said they would withdraw their ambassadors from Doha over its stance on security.

Qatar’s index was down by 3 percent at around 9.30 GMT. Other Gulf stock markets dropped by much smaller margins: Kuwait’s benchmark fell by 0.7 percent, Dubai’s index slipped 0.5 percent, and Saudi Arabia’s was down 0.2 percent at the same time.

There is significant cross-border investment in the stock markets of Gulf Cooperation Council countries by investors from other GCC nations; Saudi investors play a major role in all GCC markets.

The steep decline in Qatar came after the surprise move by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain to recall their envoys.

The three countries said the move was taken to “to protect their security and stability,” a Saudi Press Agency statement said.

The trio also said that Qatar had not “committed to the principles” of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and said “Qatar has to take the appropriate steps to ensure the security of the GCC states.”

The nations have also asked Qatar “not to support any party aiming to threaten security and stability of any GCC member”, in what has been interpreted as a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement that is supported by Qatar but banned in most other Gulf states.

(With Reuters)