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GCC stock markets surged in 2002

posted on 13/01/2003: 787 views

Stock markets in the six-nation GCC surged in 2002 and some of them recorded their best performance as investors shrugged off the spectre of war in Iraq and channelled their funds into shares away from low-return bank deposits, dealers said yesterday. The share indices of the six stock markets grew between 3.6 and 38.9 per cent in 2002 while turnover peaked at more than US$55 billion and the market capitalisation of most regional bourses hit its highest ever level, said Ziad Dabbas, share dealing director at the government-controlled National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

"Last year was one of the unique years for the GCC stock markets as all of them recorded growth in their indices and turnover," Dabbas said in a study sent to Gulf News. "There has been a combination of factors for this brilliant performance. They include the sharp decline in interest rates on bank deposits in dollar and GCC currencies, the return of part of Gulf funds abroad because of uncertainty and bad performance of global markets, growing confidence in the domestic economy and strong oil prices, which now have direct psychological effects on the investors' decisions."

Dabbas's figures showed the biggest growth in the index was recorded in Kuwait, surging by 38.9 per cent while it leapt 37.3 per cent in Qatar, 26.15 per cent in Oman, 14.2 per cent in the NBAD index in the UAE, 3.6 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 3.4 per cent in Bahrain. Turnover, the value of traded shares in the market, also jumped to a record US$30.5 billion in Saudi Arabia from US$22.2 billion in 2001, and to US$21.9 billion from US$11.6 billion in Kuwait, a staggering growth of around 88 per cent, according to the report.

Turnover more than doubled to US$1.32 billion from around 0.58 billion in the UAE, to US$578 million from US$419.8 million in Oman, to US$883 million from US$413 million in Qatar and to around US$250 million from US$235 million in Bahrain. Dabbas, citing official GCC figures, said the strong performance also boosted the market capitalisation of regional exchanges and the figure is set to grow further next month when the privatised Saudi Telecommunication Corp-oration is listed with a capital of around SR51 billion (US$13.9 billion) .

The figures showed the UAE was the third biggest GCC market after Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in terms of capitalisation.

GCC stock markets:

Country: Companies - Capitalisation (US$b)

UAE: 54 32.8; Saudi Arabia: 68 74.8; Kuwait: 93 35.1; Qatar: 24 10.5; Bahrain: 41 7.71; Oman: 140 5.26

Total: 420 166.17 - Source: NBAD (The Gulf News)


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