Kuwait bombing “just the beginning”, says fund manager

BarometerA fund manager in the UAE has warned that the bombing of a Kuwait mosque on June 26, in which 27 people died, highlights an increased risk of terror across the Gulf.

“This is just the beginning,” says Muhammad Shabbir, head of equity funds and portfolios at Dubai-based asset manager, Rasmala. “If the trend continues it is worrisome.”

Shabbir says investors in Gulf assets must accept that the risk of further terrorist disturbances has risen in the wake of the attack, the first of its kind in mostly peaceful Kuwait.

Outside of the troubled eastern province of Saudi Arabia and besides political disturbances in Bahrain, the bombing was the first attack of its kind in the entire GCC in years, he added.

“In our view it is a new risk which needs to be taken into account, especially for investment coming from outside the region,” he says. “This thing is getting closer to home.”

The Kuwaiti authorities say the attack was carried out by a Saudi national named Fahad Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Gabbaa, who blew himself up as well as 26 others at the Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque, one of the oldest Shia mosques in Kuwait.

The atrocity has been claimed by an affiliate of Islamic State, the jihadist group which has gained control of large amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria.

This week, figures compiled by Zawya, an information provider owned by Thomson Reuters, suggested the war with Islamic State had cost Arab economies more than $1 trillion so far.

©2015 funds global mena

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