Bourses plunge in Oman, Egypt, Palestinian territories
The Omani, Egyptian and Palestinian bourses plunged by between three and 3.6 percent on the week, in a negative start to August by most Arab stock markets, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported on Saturday.
Bucking the trend, the Tunindex in Tunisia climbed 2.5 percent to close on 1,441.24 points, while Jordan's ASE index reached 139.85 points, a rise of 0.9 percent due to "speculative demand on small capitalised shares," said BFA.
The Riyadh-based investment specialists said the MSM in Oman dived 3.6 percent to 197.33 points because of poor results in the banking sector. The Omani market, at a three-year low, has now lost 21.2 percent since the start of 2000.
But the worst performer for the year among the 12 Arab markets covered by BFA is Egypt's Hermes Financial Index, which has crashed 39.4 percent this year after slumping another 3.5 percent on the week to 7,890.54 points.
The bourse has been on a downward trend for the past four weeks, despite an announcement that Egypt will be included in Morgan Stanley bank's review of emerging markets from May 2001. A liquidity crunch was to blame, said BFA.
With investor confidence still hit by the failure of the US-brokered Camp David peace summit, the Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories weakened another 3.0 percent to close the week on 248.19 points.
In the Gulf, Kuwait's KSE index dropped 0.9 percent to 1,368.50 points after the government announced it would not amend a bad debt law, and the Emirates' NBAD index closed down 0.8 percent at 2,616.27 points.
Saudi Arabia's NCFEI index, the highest-capitalised in the Arab world, and the BSE in Bahrain both weakened 0.3 percent, closing on 2,168.35 points and 1,898.85 points respectively.
The only winner in the oil-rich region was the CBQ in Qatar, which was slightly up by 0.6 percent to close on 214.91 points.
Elsewhere, Morocco's CSE index gained 0.8 percent, closing on 701.83 points, while the BLOM index in Lebanon slipped to 589.14 points, down 0.5 percent, BFA said.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)