Most Arab stock markets post poor results in 2000
Most of the 12 Arab stock markets performed poorly in 2000, but they still finished well above the average for emerging markets, Bakheet Financial Advisors said Tuesday, January 2.
Only Tunisian and Saudi shares turned in positive results, while stocks in Egypt lost almost 48 percent of their value over the year, the Riyadh-based stock specialists said.
The TUNINDEX led the winners, with a 11.6 percent increase over 12 months, "pushed by good corporate results and investors' general optimism of economic indicators", including the proposed merger of three banks.
Saudi Arabia's NCFEI index recorded a 11.3 percent gain for the Arab world's largest stock market, spurred on by "higher oil prices, the new foreign investment law and a better budget".
Egypt led the losers, the Hermes Financial Index plunging 47.6 percent after foreign investors withdrew from the market because of its shortcomings, Bakheet said.
Jordan's AFM index crashed 20.5 percent because both its proximity to the ongoing fighting between Israel and the Palestinians and slow economic growth kept foreign investors away.
Oman's MSM index slipped back 19.6 percent on the back of weak corporate results in general and in the banking sector in particular.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, the UAE's NBAD index fell 18.7 percent despite the opening of two official stock exchanges, while Bahrain's BSE index dipped 18.4 percent on losses incurred by leading regional investment bank Investcorp.
Kuwait's KSE index dropped 6.9 percent on the year as political infighting continued gripped the oil-rich state, and Qatar's CBQ index dropped 6.5 percent.
Morocco's CSE index crashed 19.2 percent on "another bad year of rain and a falling euro leading to slow economic growth".
Lebanon's BLOM index dropped 17.9 percent on the back of a 44 percent budget deficit and "Israel's aggressive policies", Bakheet said.
Palestine's Al-Quds index, meanwhile, closed the year 12.3 percent down at "Israeli gunpoint" after nine months of gains.
But the Arab markets average of a 13.7 loss fared well compared to the IFCI Index of emerging markets, which finished the year 33.5 percent down.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)