Expert sees initial positive signs in GCC stock market
According to Dr. Gil Feiler, a financial expert, there are some positive signs in the GCC stock exchange markets although the road for full recovery is still long. According to him, since the outset of 2009 up until April 15, four out of the seven regional bourses posted declines while three of them were in the green. However, Feiler noted that the gains were registered in three key markets – Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The biggest loser so far this year is the Qatari financial market, which has dipped by 24% despite massive government efforts to lift investors' confidence. The Bahraini stock exchange lost nearly 8%, the tiny market in Muscat fell by some 7% while the Kuwaiti bourse has declined by 5.5%. On the other hand, the Saudi stock market (Tadawul), the biggest bourse in the Arab world, grew by healthy 12%. The Abu Dhabi market (ADX) followed with an increase of 10.7% while Dubai financial market climbed by 3.2%.
All in all the market capitalization of the GCC market is put at US$565 billion, out of which US$267 billion belonged to the Saudi bourse.
The Saudi giant - SABIC - keeps its post as the biggest company among the GCC stock market with a market cap of US$38.6 billion. It is followed by Al Rajhi Bank from Saudi Arabia which boasts a market cap of US$ 26.3 billion. So far this year, Al Rajhi share gained 17.4%. According to Feiler, the most impressive growth posted within the top 10 shares in the oil rich Gulf region belongs to UAE's Etisalat (nearly 24%).