Kuwait's stock market fell yesterday, after a fresh spate of protests the previous day cut investor appetite for riskier assets.
Thousands of demonstrators approached a prison to protest against the detention of Musallam Al Barrak on charges that he had insulted the Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.
"The market is being a bit jittery," said Fadi Al Said, a senior fund manager at ING Investment Management in Dubai.
"The demonstrations on Wednesday went a bit violent near the prison and they are calling for another demonstration. This creates some kind of tension, which is highly political."
Banks and financial services companies, which are the most actively traded and sensitive to the benchmark's movements, fell the most.
Ithmaar Bank, which recently decided to convert its Swiss-based affiliate Faisal Private Bank into a family office, fell 5 per cent to 48 dinars.
Global Investment House, which is undergoing its second restructuring since the global financial crisis, dropped 6.8 per cent to 34 dinars.
"These banks are high beta names. They are highly leveraged with exposure to real estate, restructuring. They don't do well in turbulent times in uncertainty, never mind what's happening in Kuwait right now," said Mr Al Said.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange General Index fell 1.9 per cent to 5,655.43 points.
In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was little changed, up 0.04 per cent, to 2,673.44. The Dubai Financial Market General Index added 0.2 per cent to 1,623.20.