Arab stock markets gained nearly $95 billion in the first quarter of 2012 after plummeting by nearly $107 billion in 2011 because of the political unrest sweeping the region, according to official data.
The bulk of the Q1 growth was in Saudi Arabia, which gained nearly $70 billion while there were slight increases in the UAE and other Gulf markets, showed the figures by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).
From around $884.5 billion at the end of 2011, the combined market capitalization of 14 official exchanges in the Arab world swelled to around $979.5 billion at the end of March, said the AMF, a key Arab League establishment.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, which traditionally accounts for nearly a third of the total Arab market capitalization, shot up from around $338.7 billion to nearly $408 billion in the same period, an increase of around $69.3 billion. The increase accounted for almost 73 per cent of the total Arab market growth.
Dubai grew by more than $four billion from $49.5 billion to $53.9 billion while Abu Dhabi gained $4.4 to rise from $64.6 billion to about $69 billion.
Egypt’s market, which had been hit by domestic unrest, rebounded by about $11.5 billion to reach $60.2 billion compared with $48.7 billion.
Qatar’s Doha bourse rose by around $two billion to $130.4 billion after losing nearly $four billion in the first two months of 2012.
Kuwait’s market edged up to around $102.9 billion from $100.9 billion while there were also slight increases in Bahrain and Oman.
Morocco’s bourse, the largest outside the Gulf, stabilized at around $60 billion while Tunisia’s bourse slipped by about $100 million. The markets of Lebanon and Palestine gained slightly while Jordan’s bourse rose by $300 million to end the period at around $27.1 billion. Syria’s bourse declined from around $1.5 billion to nearly $1.4 billion to lose more than $one billion over the past year because of the current turmoil.