Middle Eastern markets end 2021 on a high note

Abu Dhabi index gained over 68% in 2021, its highest since 2005

Equity markets in the Gulf region of the Middle East ended the year on a high, with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Index coming out of 2021 with its best annual performance in 16 years.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.5% on Thursday, the last trading day of 2021 – its best year since 2005, with a gain of more than 68%.

Along with the support of high oil prices, the UAE capital experienced a series of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) that boosted its performance.

The momentum helped the market stay positive for most of the year until the surge in the omicron Covid variant, said Farah Mourad, senior market analyst at Dubai financial broker XTB MENA.

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

North of Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s main stock index has grown 28.3% this year.

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

The plans aim to make Dubai more competitive with the larger stock markets in the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rose nearly 30% in 2021, marking its sixth consecutive annual gain on the back of rising oil prices.

The Qatari index ended the year up around 12% and the Kuwaiti market recorded a gain of 26.2%.

Bahrain also gained 7.5%, and the Omani index added nearly 13% to its first annual growth in nearly five years.

Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian benchmark rose 10.2%.

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