Arab stock markets sharply fluctuated through 2010 but ended the first 11 months with more than $63 billion in excess wealth being pumped into the pockets of regional equity investors, official data showed on Tuesday.
Most of the regional bourses emerged as gainers towards the end of November but those of Kuwait and Qatar far outperformed the other bourses, accounting for nearly 66 per cent of the total market gains.
From around $894.8 billion at the start of 2010, the combined market capitalization of the 13 Arab stock exchanges tracked by an Abu Dhabi-based index swelled to about $958.3 billion at the end of November, an increase of nearly 63.5 billion, an average daily gain of $26 million.
Figures by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), which created a joint stock data base for regional markets more than 20 years ago, showed Kuwait’s bourse was the biggest gainer, with its capitalization soaring by around $24 billion from nearly $100 billion at the start of 2010 to $124 billion on November 30.
Qatar was another star performer, gaining about $18.9 billion from nearly $100 billion to $118.9 billion in the same period.
Abu Dhabi was another good performer in the Gulf, with its capitalization rising from around $70.1 billion to $72.3 billion during that period, according to AMF, an IMF-style institution affiliated to the Cairo-based key Arab League.
Dubai’s bourse also grew to around $55.8 billion from $54.9 billion while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, by far the largest and most speculative market in the Middle East, swelled to nearly $336.4 billion from $331.7 billion.
The two other Gulf bourses of Bahrain and Oman recorded relatively small gains, rising to around $16.5 billion from $16.3 billion and to $20.7 billion from nearly $19.4 billion respectively, the report showed.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt was the best performer in the first 11 months of 2010, with its market capitalization soaring to around $83.9 billion from $74.7 billion. Morocco’s stock exchange was also a gainer, with its capitalization increasing to around $66 billion from nearly $63.4 billion in the same period.
As for the remaining regional exchanges, Lebanon’s Beirut bourse dipped to $17.6 billion from $18.1 billion and Jordan’s Amman market to nearly $30.2 billion from around $31.9 billion. Tunisia’s bourse rose to around $12.1 billion from $10.1 billion while Palestine’s market edged up slightly to about $3.3 billion from $3.2 billion despite persistent tension in the occupied territories.
The report showed GCC bourses have remained the dominant market in the Arab region in terms of capitalization, which accounted for about 77 per cent of the total Arab market capitalization at the end of November.
Gulf and other Arab markets are still recovering from the repercussions of the 2008 global fiscal crisis and regional debt default problems and experts believe the markets will record relative stability in 2011.
The markets were highly volatile through 2010, with their combined capitalization soaring from $894.8 billion at the start of the year to $924.3 billion at the end of February and $970 billion at the end of March.
It continued its climb to reach $980 billion in April before plunging to about $893 billion in May and $881 billion in June. Capitalization rebounded to $905 billion in July and went up maintained growth to reach $938 billion in September and around $954 billion in October before ending November at $958.3 billion.
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