While the major story on the world stock markets this past week was the Wall Street-led collapse of share prices, there was a less reported story with a decidedly more Middle Eastern feel. According to the general manager of the Nablus-based Palestine Securities Exchange, the Palestinian bourse may cut its number of trading sessions per week from five to two or three, because of difficulties caused by the Palestinian uprising.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Naim Khoshashi, the PSE’s general manager said the value of trade on the Palestinian bourse during the final three months of 2000 was 72 percent lower than during the same period in 1999. The uprising began in late September, with it commenced prolonged confinment of the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli military forces.
According to Khoshashi, to total value of shares traded during the fourth quarter of 2000 equaled 14.9 million Jordanian dinars ($21 million), down from 53.3 million dinars a year earlier.
Khoshashi said that a meeting had been held with some of the brokers at the exchange and they were asked to consider whether to have two days or three days of trade a week. A decision on the exact number of trading days will be made after receiving their recommendation, he stated.
The PSE's Al Quds index fell by 12.3 per cent in 2000, after rising 52.8 percent in 1999. The decline in 2000 took place during the final quarter of the year. Since the start of the uprising the index has fallen by more than 30 percent. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
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