Middle East markets end 2021 on high note

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
An Emirati trader passes under the stocks display screen at the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 8, 2020.
AP Photo/Kamran JebreiliAn Emirati trader passes under the stocks display screen at the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 8, 2020.

The Abu Dhabi index experienced a gain of more than 68 percent in 2021, its highest since 2005

Stock markets in the Middle East’s Gulf region ended the year on a high note, with the United Arab Emirate’s Abu Dhabi index exiting 2021 with its best annual performance in 16 years.

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.5 percent on Thursday, the last trading day of 2021 - its best year since 2005, with more than 68 percent gain.

Along with the support of strong oil prices, the UAE capital saw a series of initial public offerings (IPO) that bolstered its performance. 

Momentum helped the market remain positive for most of the year until the surge of the omicron Covid variant, said Farah Mourad, a senior market analyst at the Dubai finance broker XTB MENA. 

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Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company, Conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC), ended the year 262 percent higher in the market.

North of Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s main share index experienced a growth of 28.3 percent this year.

In November, Dubai announced plans to launch a $544.5 million market-maker fund and IPOs of 10 companies to boost activity in the local scene.

The plans are aimed at making Dubai more competitive against bigger stock markets in the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added an uptick of nearly 30 percent in 2021, marking its sixth consecutive annual gain driven by a rise in oil prices.

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The Qatari index finished the year about 12 percent higher, and Kuwait’s market registered a 26.2 percent gain.

Bahrain also gained 7.5 percent, and Omani’s index added a near 13 percent in its first annual growth in almost five years.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s benchmark index booked an increase of 10.2 percent.