Gulf stock markets look set to consolidate on Wednesday ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate hike late in the day, but anticipation of a listing of Bahrain's Khaleeji Commercial Bank in Dubai may buoy related stocks.
Although a U.S. rate hike is fully priced in by markets, they are looking for indications of the outlook for further U.S. hikes in coming months. Global equities and oil prices moved little overnight.
Khaleeji Commercial said in a statement that its annual general meeting had approved a listing of the bank on Dubai's stock market, which could dramatically improve liquidity in the stock while benefiting shareholders including GFH Financial and Shuaa Capital.
GFH has previously declared its intention to list Khaleeji Commercial and Wednesday's statement did not give a time frame. It also said GFH would raise its stake in the bank to 55.38 percent from 46.97 percent by acquiring shares owned by Emirates Islamic Bank.
GFH confirmed on Tuesday that was in talks with Shuaa about a possible merger but Shuaa has still not issued any statement to the Dubai exchange.
Saudi Arabian petrochemical firm Yansab and Dubai's Tabreed and Mashreq Bank go ex-dividend on Wednesday, which may pressure their shares.