Investors richer by $23.5bn in 2009

The Dubai index rose 2.29 per cent during 2009. (ASHOK VERMA)

The year 2009 was one that will be long remembered by investors as a watershed year that once again reminded them that what goes up can come down.

Despite the turbulence, however, investors in the UAE stock markets ended the year more than $23.5bn richer than what they started at, figures revealed.

According to Emirates Business research, the combined market capitalisation of the three bourses in the UAE – Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and Nasdaq Dubai – grew from $112.35bn on December 31, 2008, to close to $135.86bn on December 31, 2009 – resulting in a net growth of 21 per cent during the year.

Nasdaq Dubai led the growth with a staggering 85.8 per cent gain in market capitalisation during 2009, well ahead of anything that any of the other Arab markets witnessed last year.

The ADX followed with an 18 per cent gain while the DFM ended the year with 1.2 per cent growth in market capitalisation.

In terms of share price escalation, the DFM-based Gulfa Mineral Water grew the most, shooting up by more than 153 per cent during 2009, followed by ADX-listed Emirates Driving Co (99 per cent) and DFM-listed Aramex (98.5 per cent).

The DFM saw close to 60 per cent of listed companies end the year with a higher share price than what they started it at while the corresponding figure for the ADX was more than 53 per cent.

The Dubai index rose a modest 2.29 per cent during the year after declining 72.74 per cent in 2008. The ADX, on the other hand, declined 48.35 per cent in 2008 and gained 8.63 per cent in 2009.

More than 40 per cent companies on the DFM registered double-digit growth in their share price while the ADX saw share price of 37.5 per cent of companies jump in double-digits.

Both ADX and DFM saw two firms each getting listed on the respective bourses during 2009: Green Crescent Insurance and Gulf Livestock Company on the ADX and Drake and Scull International and Hits Telecom Holding on the DFM.

Last year will be remembered as the one when the UAE market reached a semblance of long-term stability, a more transparent regulatory oversight, and, above all, the emergence of a more realistic investor outlook. With the recovery in global economy, the UAE markets are set to rise further in 2010.

 

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