Private investors boost markets

Ford, Neil
February 2004
Middle East;Feb2004, Issue 342, p44
For a variety of reasons regional stock markets have recorded a bumper 12 month period, with some witnessing performance increases in excess of 50%, as of February 2004. Middle Eastern stock markets posted strong gains during the course of 2003, partly as a result of the war in Iraq. While the conflict caused instability and hit share prices around the world, the impact on stock values closer to home was far more favourable. Rises in excess of 50% were commonplace during the first half of the year before a bout of profit taking kicked in, although Saudi Arabia's TASI, Iran's Tepix, Egypt's Hermes and Kuwaits KSE all made substantial gains, in excess of 10%, during the second half of the year. Yet while the outbreak of war tells part of the story, more down to earth investment considerations also had a substantial impact. Prices had been suppressed by fear of war for so long that the eventual outbreak of hostilities persuaded investors that there was light at the end of the tunnel and that the conflict would soon be over.


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