Gulf banks are betting on Egypt despite anti-government protests continuing in several cities, writes Camilla Hall.

Hot on the heels of Qatar National Bank’s deal last week to buy Société Générale’s Egypt’s unit for $2bn, Dubai government-controlled Emirates NBD is looking to buy BNP Paribas’ Egyptian retail banking business, according to people familiar with the deal. Read more

It doesn’t take much to knock confidence in the Chinese stock market these days. On Wednesday it was a bearish report from Société Générale cutting its 2012 profits growth forecast for greater China to zero.

The Shanghai Composite index fell 2.6 per cent, its largest daily fall since November, as investors added profit concerns to all their other worries about the coming slowdown in the Chinese economy. And right on cue, Jiangxi Copper, the country’s biggest producer, posted an 18 per cent drop in net profits, which took 5.5 per cent off its shares. Read more