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Arab stock exchanges shed $144 billion of market cap in 2015

Regional markets expected to deliver positive performances this year

The Arab Monetary Fund has indicated that the financial markets in Arab countries have shed an estimated $143 billion of their market capitalisation in 2015.

The figure is equal to roughly 12 per cent of their total market capitalisation, which stood at $1.05 trillion by the end of December in the past year.

The total value of Arab stock exchanges’ market capitalisation comprises 38 per cent of the gross domestic product of Arab countries, according to a report by the Arab Monetary Fund.

The fund said it expects Arab capital markets to deliver a positive performance in 2016, in light of the relative improvement in the economic performance of Arab countries, coupled with economic and regulatory reforms undertaken by the authorities in these countries.

In a report, the fund added that decline of oil prices is the most important factor that led to the downward trend in the performance of Arab stock markets during 2015, especially in oil-exporting Arab countries.

Furthermore, Arab stock markets were also affected by the global economic slowdown as well as the move by the US to increase interest rates.

($1 = AED3.67, at the time of publishing)