DUBAI May 14 Egypt's stock market may benefit
on Sunday from news that the International Monetary Fund reached
a staff-level agreement with Cairo on a second loan instalment,
while a downgrade of Oman's debt to junk status may weigh
moderately on that market.
The IMF said on Friday it had agreed with Egypt to make
available about $1.25 billion. It added that the finance
ministry had drafted a "very strong budget" which if enacted by
parliament would put public debt on a "clearly declining path to
Agreement had been expected, but it came sooner than some
analysts had expected, and the IMF's positive tone may encourage
Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's cut Oman's credit rating to
junk status on Friday, saying low oil prices had eroded the
country's external reserves to the point they could no longer
offset the threat of low oil prices.
The downgrade was not unexpected, and the other two major
ratings agencies have higher assessments of Oman than S&P. But
the downgrade could affect Omani bank stocks slightly because
the banks may now face higher costs in financing themselves.
Global markets ended last week with a moderately positive
tone; MSCI's gauge of stock markets around the globe
rose 0.12 percent for the day on Friday and
0.094 percent for the week, the fourth straight weekly increase.
Brent oil futures stood at $50.89 per barrel.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)