Collective capitalization of GCC markets double since 2004
The collective capitalization of GCC stock markets reached an astounding $1 trillion by mid-September 2005, reflecting a doubling of their 2004 size.
On the other hand, the estimated aggregate GCC current account surplus for the coming year is expected to reach $337 billion, according to <i>Khaleej Times</i>.
A recent industry report by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that in the most actively traded markets of UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, share prices have been driven up to 30 or 40 times earnings, and up to 50 to 80 times in the energy sector.
While Western economies face oil prices hovering around $60 per barrel, Arab markets are soaring, with local liquidity rising significantly.
In addition, since the September 11 attacks on the US, many Arab investors have kept their investments local.
In the wake of such trends, Gulf governments have therefore launched long-awaited capital market reform and expansion programs, including the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).