Arab bourses gain $17bn in 25 days

Arab stock markets maintained their 2012 recovery and swelled by nearly $17 billion in the first 25 days of 2013, with the bulk of the increase recorded in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to official Arab data.

Only three bourses in the region recorded a slight fall during that period while the rest extended the recovery that started in 2012 following a downturn in the previous two years, showed the figures by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).

From around $941.4 billion at the end of 2012, the combined market capitalization of 14 official Arab stock exchanges grew to nearly 958.5 billion on January 25.

Dubai’s market rose from about $50 billion to $53.7 billion while Abu Dhabi went up from $76.5 billion to $79.7 billion, a combined increase of $6.9 billion.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, by far the largest and busiest bourse in the Middle East, swelled from $373.4 billion to $381.2 billion while Qatar, another star performer, increased from $130.6 billion to $135.4 billion, the figures showed.

Kuwait, the third largest Arab bourse, remained stable at around $103.9 billion while the two other Gulf markets of Bahrain and Oman gained around $100 million and $400 million respectively, said the AFM, a key Arab League financial establishment.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt emerged as a key loser apparently because of ongoing political upheaval, with its market capitalization dipping from around $61.3 billion at the end of 2012 to $57.6 billion on January 25.

Morocco, another major bourse outside the oil-rich Gulf, slipped slightly to $51.2 billion from $51.7 billion. Another loser was the Palestinian bourse which edged down to around $2.80 billion from $2.85 billion in the same period.

The report showed Jordan’s Amman bourse gained around $600 million while there was an increase of about $300 million in Lebanon and $1.2 billion in Tunisia.

In conflict-battered Syria, the Damascus bourse edged up to $1.06 billion from $1.04 billion but it remained less than half its value before the war two years ago.

In its recent annual report, he AMF estimated that Arab bourses gained around $60 billion through 2012 and Gulf exchanges emerged as the best performers.

Their combined market capitalization surged to nearly $944.2 billion towards the end of 2012 from about $884 billion at the end of 2011.

Most bourses recorded an increase but the UAE and Saudi Arabia emerged as the star performers, with their combined market capitalization swelling by nearly $49 billion.

 

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