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Arab stock markets lose some USD 50 billion over Egypt turmoil
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Saturday, 05 Feb 2011
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With the beginning of the political crisis in Egypt, most of the financial markets in the GCC and North Africa faced a sharp decline in their indices.

According to a fresh report published in Kuwait, during the last five days of January 2011, the Arab financial markets lost about USD 49 billion, say a decline of 5% to reach a total capitalization of USD 942 billion at the end of January 31st 2011.

The biggest decline was posted by the Egyptian stock exchange, which since the beginning of this year, lost about USD 15 billion to reach USD 70 billion at the end of January 2011. This heavy loss came mostly during the trading sessions on January 26th 2011 and January 27th 2011y, when the market value of the Egyptian stock exchange lost USD 12.5 billion. These were the heaviest losses of the Egyptian Stock Exchange since October 2008. It is worth mentioning that since then the Egyptian stock exchange remained closed.

Generally speaking, the Arab financial markets were mostly profitable until January 25th 2011. Their market value increased by USD 12.3 billion to hit USD 991 billion with the exception of the Egyptian Stock Exchange and the Tunis Stock Exchange, which lost 9.42% or the equivalent of USD 966 million as a result of the political events. In addition, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange has lost about USD 1.2 billion since the beginning of the year to January 25th 2011.

However, during the last week of January 2011, the losses extended to other markets as a result of fear and panic among investors.

As mentioned, Arab markets lost during the last week of January at USD 48.8 billion (5% of the total market value). A loss of USD 32 billion was posted in the GCC markets with the exception of Bahrain Stock Exchange by market, which saw its value rising by USD 311 million during the said period.

The Saudi stock market, the largest financial market in the Arab world, was responsible for 63% of the total market loss in the Gulf. The market value of the Saudi stock market fell by 5.6% or the equivalent of USD 20.3 billion during the last week of January 2011. Qatar's stock market has lost 3.4% or the equivalent of USD 4.3 billion during the last week of January 2011. The Kuwait Stock Exchange, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have seen a total decline of USD 7.4 billion. Meanwhile, other Arab markets have lost about USD 17 billion during the same period.

(Sourced from www.albawaba.com)

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