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Khaleej Times Online >> News >> BUSINESS
250 bln dollars wiped from Gulf stocks in October

30 October 2008
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KUWAIT CITY - The total value of shares listed on stock markets in the Gulf 
region plummetted by 250 billion dollars in October as indexes sank by an 
average 25 percent amid the global market meltdown.

A mild upturn at the end of the month did little to counteract the earlier rout 
and markets in the oil-rich states ended October worth 720 billion dollars, an 
enormous 400 billion less than at the start of the year.

Gulf bourses closed slightly higher at best on Thursday, their final trading 
day of the month, as low investor confidence prevented them from responding to 
a huge rally by global stock markets in the past few days.

‘The markets are still affected by subdued investor confidence. Many are 
awaiting for the remaining third quarter results,’ Faisal Hasan, head of 
economic research at Kuwait's Global Investment House, said.

Investors failed to react to concerted support moves by Gulf state governments, 
such as injection of funds in the financial system and the guaranteeing of bank 

Dubai topped the list of October losers, diving 28.7 percent, while Oman fell 
26.9 percent and Saudi Arabia, which closes its trading week on Wednesday, 
ended 25.8 percent lower. Doha plunged 25.6 percent, Kuwait shed 23.8 percent 
and Abu Dhabi was down 16 percent.

Hasan expects Gulf shares to begin to recover in the coming two weeks, judging 
that prices of some stocks have become very attractive to buy.

‘We are likely to see some movement upward within one to two weeks ... We are 
seeing some genuine buying in some major stocks,’  whose prices reached a low 
level, he said.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange ended the week on a positive note, rising after six 
straight sessions of losses on the back of an interest rate cut and parliament 
passing a bill to guarantee deposits in nationl and foreign banks.

The KSE Index finished up 1.2 percent at 9,789.30 points, its first gains since 
October 22 after the central bank on Thursday cut its discount rate by a 25 
basis points to 4.25 percent.

The Kuwait market closed the week down 6.6 percent amid continuing nervousness 
following this week's revelation of derivatives losses at the country's second 
biggest lender, Gulf Bank.

The central bank appointed a supervisor to oversee the affairs of Gulf Bank and 
guaranteed its deposits after the derivatives deals went wrong because of a 
decline in the value of the euro against the dollar.

Gulf Bank's chairman resigned on Tuesday but the company's shares remain 

In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Financial Market closed up 0.85 percent 
at 2,942.03 points, mainly on the back of a 2.7 percent gain by market leader 
and property giant Emaar.

The DMF Index, however, ended the week down 9.7 percent. It has lost more than 
half of its value since the start of the year.

Fellow UAE market, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was the only loser in the 
Gulf in Thursday's session, shedding 0.73 percent at 3,326.10 points on modest 
losses by real estate and banking sectors.

The market finished the week down 5.4 percent.

Doha Securities Market closed 2.4 percent higher at 6,928.00 points. It ended 
the week 8.5 percent lower.

The small markets of Muscat Securities Market and Bahrain Stock Exchange rose 
1.5 percent and 2.7 percent respecively. The Central Bank of Bahrain on 
Thursday cut its key one-week deposit interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.50 
percent, becoming the second Gulf country after Kuwait to follow the US Federal 
Reserve cut.


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