As upheavals continue to sweep the region, Arab stock markets declined as much as $24 billion in February unnerving investors who are already trying to recover in a post-financial crisis climate, the UAE-based Emirates Business 24/7 reported on Saturday.
Contrary to their stellar performance in January, the bourse of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar accounted for the bulk of the $24 billion dip, but Dubai edged down slightly as the oil-rich emirate Abu Dhabi gained, the e-paper said.
From around $954 billion at the end of January, the combined market capitalization of the Arab region’s 14 official bourses slumped to nearly $930 billion on Thursday, a loss of around $24 billion.
Saudi Arabia, which has the largest and busiest bourse in the Middle East, emerged as the main victim along with Qatar and Kuwait.
From around $340.3 billion at the end of January, the market capitalization of the Saudi Tadawul bourse dipped to $334.6 billion on Thursday.
Qatar’s bourse plunged to $112.7 billion from $120.4 billion while Kuwait shrank to around $116.6 billion from $124.7 billion.
Dubai’s bourse, one of the busiest in the region, slipped slightly to around $52.5 billion from $53 billion while Abu Dhabi rebounded to nearly $69 billion from $67.8 billion after a small decline in January.
Oman’s bourse edged down to $21.3 billion from $21.8 billion while Bahrain’s market edged up to $20.8 billion from $20.5 billion despite recent unrest.
Outside the oil-rich Gulf , Egypt whose market has been closed most of the time, remained at $71.4 billion. Moroccos Casablanca bourse, another major market outside the Gulf, dropped to around $67.3 billon from $68.5 billon.
Jordan’s Amman bourse fell to about $29.3 billion from $30.8 billion and Lebanon to $17.6 billion from $18.2 billion.
Syria’s Damascus bourse, which has just been included in the AMF data, slipped to around $three billion from $3.1 billion. Tunisia, where the spark of Middle East unrest began in January, declined slightly to $10 billion from $10.3 billion.
The figures showed the Palestinian bourse in the occupied territories also retreated slightly to around $3.8 billion from $3.9 billion.