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Dubai outperforms major Gulf bourses in 2019

Ateeq Shariff/Dubai
Filed on December 31, 2019
Dubai outperforms major Gulf bourses in 2019

(KT file)

Dubai's index ended the year up more than nine per cent, outperforming other major Gulf markets, while Kuwait led the region with a 32 per cent gain and Oman fell for a third year in a row.

Dubai dropped 0.2 per cent on Tuesday as Dubai Islamic Bank lost 0.7 per cent and Emirates NBD slipped 0.4 per cent, but it closed 9.3 per cent up over the year, despite slumping real estate prices.

Saudi Arabia rose 0.5 per cent, bringing its annual gains to 7.2 per cent. Riyad Bank added two per cent on Tuesday, while Aramco rose 0.3 per cent, at 35.3 riyals.

Oil giant Aramco commenced trading on December 11 after a long-awaited market listing, surging 10 per cent from the initial public offering price of 32 riyals ($8.53). The increase helped the company close in on the $2 trillion valuation long sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Aramco raised $25.6 billion on December 5 through the IPO. The flotation propelled the Riyadh bourse into the world's top ten by value of listed companies.

In mid-September, oil prices surged by as much as 19 per cent before coming off peaks, after an attack on the kingdom that shut five per cent of global crude output. The intraday jump was the biggest surge since the 1991 Gulf War.

Kuwait's blue-chip index advanced 32.4 per cent in 2019, making it the best-performing stock market for the year.

Interest in Kuwait grew following MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities into its main emerging market index in 2020. Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital, said they expect the index to be well supported until the move.

Egypt's index increased 7.1 per cent in 2019. On Tuesday, Commercial International Bank edged up 0.2 per cent.

On the other hand, Oman's index had another bad year leaving it down 7.9 per cent for all of 2019, close to 15-year lows.

- Reuters

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