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Middle East
Falling shares trigger Gulf protest
Traders in Kuwait stage walkout after share prices plunge over global recession.
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2008 10:45 GMT
The traders marched to the council of ministers building after they staged a walkout [AFP]

Kuwaiti traders have staged another walkout after shares in the oil-rich Gulf region plunged in panic over a global recession.

The traders left the trading chamber at the Kuwait Stock Exchange on Sunday after the index dived more than 300 points a few minutes after the opening.

They had also deserted the stock market on the week's final day on Thursday.

About 30 of the traders marched to the nearby council of ministers building where the cabinet was reported to be in an emergency session to discuss a bill to guarantee bank deposits.

The oil-rich emirate's central bank had earlier announced that a draft law would be urgently submitted to parliament to guarantee bank deposits after it was found that the second largest lender made losses in derivatives trading.
  
The Central Bank of Kuwait said that it had decided to appoint a supervisor for the Gulf Bank operations in management of treasury, forex and share deals.
  
But it affirmed that the bank's position was strong and it was fully capable of providing its normal banking activities.

Ibrahim Dabdoub, the chief executive officer of the National Bank of Kuwait, the largest in the emirate, meanwhile called for the suspension of trading on the stock market.
  
"If I were the man responsible for the stock market, I would order an immediate suspension of trading because of panic trading," he told the CNBC Arabiya satellite channel.

Markets across the region opened low on Sunday amid gloomy economic prospects.
  
The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index shed 3.2 per cent while the Saudi stock market opened down 3 per cent. Markets in Qatar and Dubai also showed a downward spiral.

Source:
Agencies
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