MENA Markets lose $90 bn YTD
GCC markets took a significant hit in February as political tensions spread like wildfire through the region in addition to some disappointing corporate performance and news. S&P GCC lost 6.5% for the month, bringing the YTD loss to 9%. All of the GCC was in the red, except Abu Dhabi which managed to just squeeze into the green with a flat performance. Oman lead losses with a 10% drop as trouble began brewing in the Sultanate. The 11 main Arab bourses have lost nearly USD 90 bn from January 25th to date.
The stagnancy of the Zain/Etisalat deal has had negative consequences on both exchanges. Zain has rejected three offers for its Saudi unit, which is a prerequisite for the deal to go through. Etisalat has expressed continued interest in the acquisition.
Liquidity tumbled during the month; Volume and Value Traded in the GCC shrank by 33% and 21%, respectively. Total value traded in the GCC amounted to USD 23.6 bn in February. The most significant decline in volume was in Kuwait, shedding 60% MoM.
After the dramatic surge in volatility seen in January, where MVX GCC spiked up by 5x; risk was flat in February due to a 12% decline in MVX Saudi. Most GCC markets saw their MVXs climb; the highest uptick came in Oman (82%) while MVX Kuwait and MVX Qatar were up 45% each.
GCC Markets Review
Global Markets review
World markets were led by Developed world gains again as Emerging Markets declined in light of escalating Middle East turmoil. Crude oil shot up 14% during the month, double its January gain, ending at $113/bb. MSCI World gained 3% for the month pushing the YTD gain to 4.6%.
Monthly returns were mixed for the month; most Emerging Markets saw losses, except Shanghai which was up 4%. The Developed World saw gains in the 3% range. Frontier Markets were the big losers, shedding nearly 7%.
Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD1.03 billion as of December 31, 2010, was established in 1974 has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997.v