Gulf stocks soars this year - analysts

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 28, 2013 03:52 PM EST

An Arabian Business report said stock markets in the Gulf region rose in 2013, with each index recording double-digit growths and two of the largest indexes reaching their give-year highs. According to analysts, the significant increases signaled that the Middle East was on its way to recovering from the stock market crashes in 2008 to 2009 relating to the worldwide financial crisis.

MENACORP CEO Fathi Ben Grira told the news agency, "The local economy came back on track and the market caught up with that; it's really a simple analysis."

Grura said cash-rich investors who had returned to the market of Saudi Arabia helped the the largest stock market in the region, Tadawul, hit its five-year high in December, putting 25% in this year.

Moreover, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was said to have broken its five-year records repeatedly this year, doubling to over 3200 points in the last 12 months. The financial market's performance was incredible considering that it experienced a major decline in August due to concerns about an international military intervention in Syria. On the other hand, analysts at that time said the dip in Dubai was larger because of the correction following huge gains incurred this year. The report said investors were eager to exit and turn their paper profits into cash.

By then, the stocks had rallied partially on August 29 and regained the losses it incurred by September.

The market recovery, said the report benefited Real estate and construction companies, with Emaar growing by nearly 95% and Deyaar Development increasing by 150%. Banks like EmiratesNBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and Al Salam Bank - Bahrain experienced their share prices double. Dubai Investments had grown 178% this year.

The only index that did not retain its significant gain throughout 2013 was the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Despite reaching 8451.71 at close on May 29, which was a 43% increase as compared to last year, it has since then lost 900 points and recorded 28% for 2013.

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