Middle East equities rise despite oil price rout

graph upAverage equity prices across the Middle East rose in January despite the price of Brent crude remaining below $50 a barrel for most of the month.

The Pan Arab Composite LargeMidCap index from S&P increased 2.2% during the month, driven by 3.7% growth in the Egyptian index and a 6.5% jump in the value of Saudi equities.

The rise in Saudi equities was notable because it came in the same month as the death of the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, and followed a disastrous final quarter of 2014 in which the Saudi stock market lost about a fourth of its value – events that might have foreshadowed further price falls.

However, Tim Edwards, senior director of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says the markets were pleased by the relatively smooth transition of power from Abdullah to the new king, Salman, whose "pledges of continuity in energy and foreign policies have reassured investors".

Not every market posted positive growth in January. The S&P index for the UAE fell 4.1% and the index for Qatar fell 3.7% during the month. S&P noted that its sharia-compliant indices generally outperformed conventional indices.

©2015 funds global mena

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: ‘Financing is the blood of Iran’s economy’

Amid a fresh wave of American sanctions, Romil Patel spoke to Meysam Hamedi, director of financial markets and instruments at Iran’s Securities & Exchange Organization (SEO).

INTERVIEW: Totally mega

In 2016, global consulting firm PWC forecast the emergence of five global ‘megatrends’ in the next two decades. Stephen Anderson, its Middle East clients and markets leader, talks about their...

INTERVIEW: Protecting the investment

Rasmala’s trade finance fund recently passed $100 million in assets. Doug Bitcon, head of credit strategies, explains why he has to be hands-on.

EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: A natural interest in the topic

Since 2016, Guillermo Ortiz has been a chairman of Latin America’s BTG Pactual. The former central banker of Mexico talks to Nick Fitzpatrick.


Middle East Investor Roundtable 2020: Dimensions of diversification

Investors in the Middle East consider the tools that will be needed to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, the continued appetite for dividend and why it’s all about tech. Chaired by Romil Patel.

South Africa asset management roundtable: Global rebound on ice

Experts discuss the investment implications of the coronavirus pandemic, a delayed rebound in global growth and dealing with South Africa’s energy issues head on. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

South African roundtable: Taking the bull by the horns

Our panel discusses Chinese investment in Africa, financial institutions’ contribution to economic sustainability and regulatory concerns. Chaired by Romil Patel in Cape Town.

ROUNDTABLE: Hooked to the global caravan

With the MENA region at a tipping point, our panellists talk about economic diversification, the impact of regulation and the delayed Saudi Aramco listing. Chaired by Romil Patel in Dubai.