GCC stock markets suffer SR3 trillion loss


“As a result of stock market debacle that began in February last year assets of Gulf shares fell by 60 percent. About 30 million Gulf citizens with a wealth of more than SR6 trillion are still going through a stock market crisis,” Garoub said.


The second Capital Market Forum in Dubai, which opens today, would be attended by a large number of international organizations. There are nearly 700 joint stock companies in the Gulf countries and 300 financial consultancy houses.


Meanwhile, the Saudi stock exchange retreated last week following continuous gains over the past three weeks.


The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) shed 0.83 percent to 8,176.37 points down from 8,245.05 points the previous week. The TASI is currently 3.06 percent higher than the year’s start.


The Riyadh-based Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said in its weekly report: “The TASI started the week with a rising trend approaching the 8,500-point level on Sunday, but could not cross it and decreased gradually under selling pressure that lasted for the rest of the week.”


The BFA noticed that small stocks continued to attract investors’ interest in terms of trading volume.


“The market’s 20 smallest companies captured 33 percent of the turnover last week,” the report said. “In case these stocks continue their upward trend, they could fuel a harsher correction and negatively affect the market’s future direction due to their negative psychological impact on investors.”


The stock market turnover also continued to increase from the previous week. The value of shares traded reached SR82.74 billion compared to SR73.1 billion in the previous week.


Saudi Fisheries was most active by value at SR4.58 billion followed by Al-Rajhi Bank at SR3.91 billion. Filling & Packing Materials Manufacturing Co. was the top gainer last week as its shares soared 25.16 percent to SR95.75.


Yanbu Cement was top loser as its shares plunged 11.31 percent to SR74.50 last week. Shares of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) also dropped 3.96 percent to SR115.25.


In the telecom sectors, shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) fell 1.35 percent to SR73 and Etihad Etislat shares rose 7.32 percent to SR55.


Arab stock markets are expected to remain under pressure of speculation, geopolitics and dividend distributions, for the coming few weeks, financial analysts said yesterday.


Regional bourses reflected mixed performance last week, echoing concerns over the escalating military rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear program as well as dividend distributions by listed firms, they added.


“I believe Arab stock markets will continue to be affected by political factors, particularly the confrontation between Iran and Western powers of Teheran’s nuclear program,” Nizar Taher, head of brokerage at the Jordan Ahli Bank, told Arab News.


“I think dividend distribution will also remain a key factor that decides future trends of markets in the region,” he said.


Taher expected last week’s turmoil at international stock markets to have an “indirect impact” on Middle East bourses.


Other analysts discerned a profit-taking move, which said had put downward pressure on several markets in the region last week.


Jordanian shares continued to be steady for the fourth week in a row amid foreign buying which focused on the heavyweight Arab Bank and other blue chip firms.


The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange gained 0.81 percent last week, closing at 6,439 points compared with 6,387 points previous week, according to the ASE weekly report.“The outlook is positive amid reports of rising liquidity in the market and the arrival of fresh funds from the Gulf region and elsewhere,” Taher said.


The market was also receiving optimistic gestures from ongoing negotiations for the takeover of 10 percent of the Arab Bank shares by the Emaar real estate conglomerate of Dubai, he added.


Kuwait’s KSE all-share prince index rose by 0.3 percent last week, closing at 9,753 points, compared with last week’s close at 9,726 points.


The United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi also retreated last week under profit-taking moves and regional political pressures.


The decline was led by the heavyweight Emaar share, which lost 1.95 percent on Thursday alone.


The UAE all-share price index shed 0.4 percent last week, closing at 4,080 points, down from 4,095 points previous week.


The GulfBase GCC index for the week was also down 0.37 percent at 5,059.47.


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