Amman: Arab stock
markets plummeted this week amid deepening investor concerns over
a possible dive when the Egyptian stock market reopens after three
weeks' closure, financial analysts said Friday.
They also attributed the decline to growing "military and security
concerns" in the region with tension escalating between Lebanon's
Hezbollah militias and Israel, and demonstrations sweeping several
"Regional markets are coming under increasing psychological
pressures from the prolonged closure of the Egyptian bourse and
demonstrations that gather momentum throughout the Arab world,"
Wajdi Makhamreh, CEO of the Amman-based Noor Investments
Brokerage, told DPA.
"I believe the slippage of Arab stock markets, particularly in the
Gulf area, is prompted by fears on the part of firms that have
projects in Egypt," he said.
"Regional investors resort to selling to avoid losses because they
believe Egyptian stocks would plummet when the bourse re-opens,
sending a negative signal to all markets in the region," he added.
However, Makhamreh said rising oil prices would help prop up
regional markets in the medium and long terms.
Saudi shares in particular suffered from the fallout of the
Egyptian uprising, with the decline led by the banking,
petrochemical and telecom sectors.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world's largest
bourse shed 1.89 percent on a weekly basis, to close at 6,486.60
"Undoubtedly, financial markets are coming under pressure from
situations where concerns of security nature arise," said Abdullah
Baeshen, chairman of the Riyadh-based TeamOne financial
"Scared investors apparently resort to sell-off at this juncture
and prefer liquid assets because they don't know what happens
next," he added.
Jordanian shares were the main losers in the area this week mainly
due to decisions taken by the Amman Stock Exchange management to
put assets of key investors under custody to ensure repayment of
loans, Makhamreh said.
The ASE all-share index plunged 3.4 percent this week, closing at
2,285, with blue chips taking the lead.
Kuwait's KSE all-share index lost 2.6 per cent this week, closing
at 6,559 points. The decline was led by the investment, industrial
and banking sectors, analysts said.
The benchmarks of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of
Dubai and Abu Dhabi, shed 0.2 per cent and 0.9 percent, closing
respectively at 1,595 points and 2,683 points.
The all-share index of Qatar's stock market also lost 2.76
percent, to close at 8,703 points.