GCC bourses M-cap nosedives $ 250 billion


A mild upturn at the end of the month did little to counteract the earlier rout and markets in the oil-rich states ended October worth $ 720 billion, an enormous $ 400 billion less than at the start of the year.

Gulf bourses closed slightly higher at best yesterday, their final trading day of the month, as low investor confidence prevented them from responding to a huge rally by global stock markets in the past few days.

"The markets are still affected by subdued investor confidence. Many are awaiting for the remaining third quarter results," Faisal Hasan, head of economic research at Kuwait’s Global Investment House, said.

Investors failed to react to concerted support moves by Gulf state governments, such as injection of funds in the financial system and the guaranteeing of bank deposits.

Dubai topped the list of October losers, diving 28.7 per cent, while Oman fell 26.9 per cent and Saudi Arabia, which closes its trading week on Wednesday, ended 25.8 per cent lower. Doha plunged 25.6 per cent, Kuwait shed 23.8 per cent and Abu Dhabi was down 16 per cent.

Hasan expects Gulf shares to begin to recover in the coming two weeks, judging that prices of some stocks have become very attractive to buy.
"We are likely to see some movement upward within one to two weeks … We are seeing some genuine buying in some major stocks," whose prices reached a low level, he said.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange ended the week on a positive note, rising after six straight sessions of losses on the back of an interest rate cut and parliament passing a bill to guarantee deposits in nationl and foreign banks.



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