GCC equity markets’ returns in 2021 best since 2008: Report

The GCC equity markets generated their best returns in more than a decade last year, the GCC region’s leading IR specialist Iridium has said in a report published on Sunday.
Citing a report from Kamco Invest, Iridium revealed that the MSCI GCC index climbed 34.9 percent in 2021, registering its highest increase since 2008.
The cumulative GCC equity trading value also grew for a third straight year in 2021 by 19.7 percent year-on-year (YoY) to $789.7 billion.
Abu Dhabi stood at the top among the GCC equity markets as it surged 68.2 percent. Saudi Arabia, which appreciated 29.8 percent, stood as the second-best performer.
The report cited that gains in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia were led by equity offerings of several state-owned entities against the backdrop of an improving macroeconomic situation.
Looking forward to 2022, the report said that players in the regional equity markets may abstain from making significant moves ahead of the start of the new earnings season this week.
Further, the report said, they are also likely to remain cautious owing to a rapid increase in new coronavirus cases, both locally and globally, which clouds the global recovery outlook.
This week, Ahli Bank, Qatar National Bank (QNB), and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) are expected to release FY 2021 earnings after their respective Board meetings.
The report said that Qatar’s stock market began trading in 2022 on a very positive note and stood as the top-performing equity market in the GCC last week with a gain of 2.9 percent.
Oman with a gain of 1.4 percent stood second and was followed closely by Saudi Arabia (+1.3 percent), which gained as Brent crude edged past the $80 per barrel mark.
Kuwait (+0.8 percent) recouped its previous week’s loss. Dubai (+0.7%) rose for a second straight week with the Emirate’s ruler approving the 2022-2024 budget worth $49 billion. However, Bahrain partially reversed its previous week’s gain as it declined 0.5 percent.
Abu Dhabi suffered the most with a decline of 1.3 percent as it was weighed down by a decline in Etisalat and Alpha Dhabi Holding.
Highlighting the factors that will affect the global markets this week, the report said the focus will be squarely on the Fed Chair’s testimony and the US inflation reports on consumer and producer price index. As the Fed’s stance turns increasingly hawkish, it said, a sharp increase in bond yields could add pressure on stock prices and is likely to keep the markets volatile.
“China could also drive market sentiment as it releases critical data on trade and inflation. Meanwhile, the Omicron concerns are unlikely to abate as the spread continues at a rapid pace. The week also marks the beginning of the fourth-quarter earnings season,” the report said.