Arab bourses recover in 2012

UAE and Saudi led growth in regional markets

Arab bourses swelled by nearly $60 billion in 2012 to match a recovery in global markets and Gulf exchanges emerged as the best performers, official data showed.

The combined market capitalization of the 14 official stock exchanges in the region surged to nearly $944.2 billion towards the end of 2012 from about $884 billion at the end of 2011, an increase of $60.2 billion.

Most bourses recorded an increase but the UAE and Saudi Arabia emerged as the star performers through 2012, with their combined market capitalization swelling by nearly $49 billion, according to the figures by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse Tadawul alone soared by $37 billion while Abu Dhabi Security Exchange grew by nearly $12 billion. Dubai’s market capitalization rose slightly to around $49.8 billion from $49.5 billion.

Qatar’s bourse, one of the largest markets in the Middle East, increased to $132.2 billion from $128.4 billion while Kuwait’s bourse, another major stock market, rose to nearly $103.9 billion from $100.9 billion in the same period.

Oman’s Muscat securities market also performed well through 2012, with its market capitalization rising to nearly $22.2 billion from $19.6 billion. Bahrain was the only Gulf market to record negative growth, receding to $15 billion from $16.5 billion.

Outside the GCC, Egypt’s bourse emerged as the best performer with its market capitalization soaring to $60.2 billion towards the end of 2012 from $48.6 billion at the end of 2011, said the AMF, a key Arab League financial organization.

Morocco’s Casablanca bourse, the second largest market outside the Gulf, shrank to around $52.9 billion from $60 billion. Jordan’s Amman bourse also edged down to around $26.1 billion from $26.9 billion in the same period.


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