UAE stocks gained $150 billion in value this year

ABU DHABI — Stock investors in the UAE became richer by a staggering $150 billion in 2005 as a surge in share prices and the entry of new companies lifted its bourse by nearly three times and allowed it to record the highest market growth in the Arab world this year.

By (Wam)

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Published: Thu 22 Dec 2005, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:21 PM

Figures by the Arab Monetary Fund (amf), which tracks the official stock markets in 14 Arab countries, showed the UAE bourse surged to an all time high of around $241 billion yesterday to become the second largest Arab bourse after Saudi Arabia.

At the end of 2004, the market capitalisation of the UAE’s two main bourses of Abu Dhabi and Dubai stood at nearly $90.5 billion

while it leaped to around $157 billion at the end of the first half of 2005 before peaking at $241.1 billion yesterday.

It was the highest growth recorded this year in Arab capital markets as it nearly tripled over its level late last year while the other GCC markets also recorded high growth. Outside the Gulf, most Arab markets surged ahead with the exception of the Casablanca bourse in Morocco, according to the third quarterly report by the Abu Dhabi-based AMF.

From around $306 billion at the end of 2004, the Saudi market capitalisation, the largest in the Arab world, jumped to $636.6 billion yesterday while it soared from $73.5 billion to $136.5 billion in Kuwait, from $40.4 billion to $89.8 billion in Qatar, from around $13.5 billion to $17.5 billion in Bahrain and from $9.3 billion to $10.6 billion in Oman.

Dealers said the surge in GCC markets and other Arab bourses was a result of high oil prices, an economic upswing in most regional states, a sharp increase in demand for shares because of low interest rates, and the listing of more companies.

The report showed the combined market capitalisation of the 14 Arab bourses nearly doubled to a record $1.26 trillion yesterday from $622.4 billion at the end of 2004.

The capitalisation of the UAE and the other five GCC bourses accounted for nearly 95 per cent of the total Arab markets, exceeding $1.1 trillion yesterday.

Dealers expect another prosperous year for GCC markets in 2006 as oil prices are expected to remain strong and this will have a direct positive impact on the domestic economic, public spending and private sector performance.

Another factor for the surge in the GCC markets is the decision by some bourses to give greater access to foreign investors and measures to organise share activity.

As a result many companies have joined regional markets while new firms are expected to be listed in 2006 with plans by the private sector to create more ventures.

By yesterday, nearly 1,650 companies were listed in the Arab world’s 14 official bourses compared with 1,597 at the end of 2004. All GCC markets recorded an increase in the number of listed firms while there was a decline in some other arab markets, mainly Egypt, where they declined to 758 yesterday from 792 at the end of 2004.

The AMF figures showed turnover, or the value of traded shares, totalled around $10.1 billion in the 14 bourses yesterday and

the bulk of activity was recorded in Saudi Arabia, which had a turnover of around $9 billion.

On a monthly basis, turnover peaked at $143.9 billion in September, including around $104.8 billion in Saudi Arabia. In the UAE turnover

totalled nearly $19 billion in September, including around $16.7 billion in Dubai.

As for the third quarter of 2005, Arab market turnover totalled around $372.9 billion. It stood at$277.2 billion in Saudi Arabia, around $43 billion in the UAE, $24.6 billion in Kuwait, $8.7 billion in Qatar, $985.3 million in Oman and $121 million in Bahrain.

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