Gulf Arab stocks lose in 2015 on oil slump

GMT 21:00 2016 Friday ,01 January

Arab Today, arab today Gulf Arab stocks lose in 2015 on oil slump

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Dubai - XINHUA

Stock indices from Kuwait to Oman lost value over the year as oil price continued to trade in the bearish level throughout 2015.

Thursday marked the last day of trading at Gulf Arab markets. The Dubai Financial Market General Index and the Saudi Arabian Tadawul All-Share index lost 16.50 percent and 17 percent, respectively, in 2015. However, the Dubai market index achieved a strong "home run," gaining 9.29 percent in the last two weeks as oil prices stabilized.

The price of oil (WTI) rebounded to above 36 dollars per barrel (159 liters) after hitting a seven-year low at 34 dollars earlier this month amid oversupply from shale oil producers in the United States and Iran's partial comeback as an oil exporter. The state of Kuwait whose federal budget relies 95 percent on revenues generated by the "black gold" saw its stock market measure KSMI closing off 14 percent year to date.

The Saudi market's CEO Alghamdi said the Tadawul bourse aims to list its own shares to the public by 2018. Air Arabia outperformed the market gauge. The Dubai-listed low-budget carrier from Sharjah lost only 3.86 percent in the last 12 months as low prices translate into low jet fuel costs for airliners.

Saudi market bellwether Sabic, the biggest producer of petrochemicals, outperformed, too, dipping by just 2.70 percent in the last twelve months. Earlier in the week, the Saudi government said it posted in 2015 a record budget deficit of 98 billion dollars and that as a counter-measure petrol prices would be hiked by 50 percent. For 2016, the kingdom expects a fiscal deficit of 87 billion dollars as oil would continue to account for 90 percent of public revenues.

The Abu Dhabi market index ADXGI performed relatively well, losing around 4.80 percent since the start of the year. The share of Taqa, the biggest oil and gas firm in sheikhdom, fell by 41 percent in 2015.

One of the best performing stocks in the United Arab Emirates was Air Arabia. On December 15, renowned U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini said at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai he expects oil prices to pick up to the range of 50 to 60 dollars per barrel at the end of 2016 "because some high cost margin producers will produce less oil while major suppliers will reduce capacities."

The Omani MSM30 Index recorded an annual loss of almost 15 percent, so did the Qatar Exchange 20 Index in Doha. Not a single Gulf Arab market index added value this year.

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