GCC markets post biggest quarterly gain since global financial crisis

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A broad rally in regional GCC markets and rising oil prices led the MSCI GCC aggregate index to jump around 18% in the first three months of 2022, its biggest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2022. 2009 during the global financial crisis.

The rise was supported by four straight months of index gains, Kamco Invest said in a report.

All regional markets were in the green in the quarter, with Abu Dhabi recording the biggest gain of around 17%, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with gains of around 16% each, according to the report.

The capital goods, materials and banking sectors recorded the largest gains, at almost 20%. Energy and healthcare followed, rising 18% and 15% respectively.

Durable consumer goods and clothing, as well as pharmaceuticals, were the only sectors to decline in the first quarter, according to the report.

The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) was the GCC’s best-performing market in March, with the exchange’s market capitalization rising 4.7% in the month to 1.81 trillion dirhams ($492 billion). ).

The total volume of shares traded rose 39% to 6.2 billion in March from 4.4 billion in February. The monthly value traded also increased by 44% to reach 40.2 billion dirhams last month.

The ADX, the Arab world’s second largest stock market by market value, also leads the GCC in year-to-date gains which reached 17.2% at the end of March after posting record growth in 2021, according to the report.

The Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, which more than doubled its market capitalization last year, had nine listings in 2021. It could host 13 more IPOs before the end of this year as it seeks to achieve market value of Dh3tn, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of ADX, told Sky News Arabia last week.

The Dubai Financial Market also gained 5% in March, closing at 3,526.6 points, supported by gains in six of nine sector indices, including large-cap sectors such as banking, real estate and insurance. , according to the report.

Trading activity on the stock exchange increased in March compared to February, with total volume of shares traded up around 40% and total value up 83% to reach 10.5 billion dirhams.

The DFM is also expected to see a slew of new listings this year, starting with the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority’s IPO later this month. The utility company is expected to raise between Dh20.25 billion and Dh22.3 billion since listing.

Outside the UAE, the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), the largest stock exchange in the Arab region, posted new “multi-year highs” in March, with the Tasi index closing the month at the highest level in nearly 17 year.

The index’s returns hit 16% this year, the third-highest in the GCC, as well as its highest quarterly gain since the fourth quarter of 2016.

The primary market in Saudi Arabia “remained vibrant” with six companies listing during the month of March, including the IPO of Nahdi Medical, according to the report.

Tadawul’s market capitalization grew by around 24% annually to reach 11.96 billion riyals ($3.19 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, the exchange said on Sunday.

The Kuwaiti stock market also rose for the third consecutive month in March, posting the second-best monthly performance in the GCC, with the all-stock index gaining almost 7%.

“However, unlike the prior month where positive performance was primarily driven by mid and small cap stocks, March’s performance was solely driven by large cap stocks partially offset by a decline in major market stocks,” it said. The report. .

The first quarter performance was also dominated by the market’s major stocks, which gained nearly 19%. The broader all-stock index rose 16% in the first three months of the year, one of the best in the GCC.

The Bahrain Stock Exchange All Share Index also rose about 6% to close at 2,073.54 points in March, crossing the 2,000 mark for the first time since November 2008, according to Kamco.

The index touched 2,080.43 points on March 27, the highest mark since the 2008 global financial crisis. Gains over the past four consecutive months have propelled 2022 year-to-date returns from the Bahrain stock market to one of the best in the GCC by more than 15%, according to the report.

Oman’s MSX index posted the GCC’s smallest monthly gain in March, with the benchmark rising about 4% to 4,205.2 points.

The index hit its highest level since December 2018 in the first week of March, “but mostly trended lower for the rest of the month,” the report said.

Last month’s rise “more than offset declines in the first two months of the year” with a gain of about 2% in the first quarter, the weakest in the GCC, he said.

Updated: 04 April 2022, 04:26

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