The cost of insuring Gulf debt rose on Thursday, with Dubai's credit default swaps (CDS) rising to the highest level in at least six months as global recession fears led to a sense of risk aversion in financial markets.
Dubai's five-year CDS were at 470 points, up from 431 points on September 21, according to data from Markit, and the highest levels since early March, according to data from Markit.
Abu Dhabi CDS rose to 117 points on Thursday, up from 106 points a day earlier, while Qatar CDS rose to 118 points, from 106 points on Wednesday.
"We are currently in an environment where investors are already nervous and yet continue to face one piece of negative news after another," said Chavan Bhogaita, head of markets strategy department at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
"Hence the de-risking theme that we have witnessed recently is continuing with the result that even the most solid of credits are suffering some spread widening."
A grim outlook for the US economy from the Federal Reserve and signs of a slowdown in China and Germany sent world stocks tumbling on Thursday and drove investors into safer currencies and government bonds.
European stocks fell more than 4 percent to a two-year low, helping drag global equities to a fresh one-year low, making Wall Street look set for sharp losses at the open.
Amid the gloom, Abu Dhabi's Union National Bank will test investor appetite for regional debt when it kicks off road shows for a possible bond on Sunday.
Bahrain's CDS widened to 350 points from 327 points on Wednesday, ahead of elections on Saturday. Saudi Arabia's spreads widened eight points from the previous day, to 123 points.