Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Arab stock markets crashed by more than $158 billion (Dh580bn)

Not sure whether you follow the stock markets worldwide.

Life is down for some investors. Billions have been wiped out in the region (while trillions Dirham of property development projects are being announced in the Cityscape). I am still trying to figure it out in terms of how many zeroes required to make more money out of dreams.

I have not heard any suicide news yet but hopefully would be no more heart breaking news on the trading floors as Asian stocks were mixed today. A big interest rate cut in Australia helped spur recoveries in several regional markets, sparking hopes that other central banks will lower rates to help loosen the global credit crunch.

According to Emirates Business, Arab stock markets crashed by more than $158 billion (Dh580bn) in September, their largest collective monthly loss since they began share dealing some decades ago, according to dealers and official figures.

GCC bourses emerged as the main victim of the decline as they collapsed by $153bn, nearly 96 per cent of the total capital loss, showed the figures by the Arab Stocks Data Base at the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia plummeted by nearly $82bn to account for over half the decline. From around $1.2 trillion at the end of August, the market capitalisation of the Arab bourses dipped to one of their lowest levels in nearly a year to reach $1.1trn on September 30, a loss of around $158.14bn and a daily average fall of about $5.2bn.

In October, GCC stock markets have posted a combined decline of more than $85 billion (Dh312bn) in the first two trading days this month. This is over and above the combined decline of $127.25bn that the GCC markets witnessed in the month of September

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab market, posted a decline of 9.8 per cent yesterday, with its benchmark Tadawul All-Share Index (Tasi) shedding more than 731.90 points to close at 6,726.60, its worst close since October 11, 2004, or almost 48 months.

The Saudi stock market was capitalised at $386.73bn on September 28, its last trading day before Eid break. Its market cap stood at $349.5bn at close yesterday, a loss of $37.23bn (-9.6 per cent) in a single day.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) lost a massive 7.61 per cent yesterday, exacerbating the previous day's fall of 6.86 per cent.

The DFM alone has seen more than $10bn wiped off in market value in the two trading days since markets opened on Sunday after the Eid break.

While the DFM closed with a market cap of $82.03bn on September 29, before the Eid break, that figure stood at $71.96bn yesterday, signalling a decline of 12.27 per cent in just two days. The index closed yesterday at 3,551.79, its worst close since April 2, 2005, or more than 42 months. The index is down more than 40 per cent year-to-date.

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