Mubasher: The majority of the stock markets in the Gulf region showed a rise during March, according to a recent monthly report by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

Gains registered in Boursa Kuwait accelerated over March, as the stock market maintained its positive performance, backed by strong global market performance.

“Kuwait registered a gain of 8.7% in March and 12% for the year as investors positively registered the news that MSCI proposed to reclassify the MSCI Kuwait Index from Frontier to Emerging Markets as part of the 2019 Annual Market Classification Review,” Markaz said.

The banking sector benefited greatly during March, as restrictions on foreign ownership cap of 49% on domestic banks were lifted.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Boursa Kuwait have launched a number of initiatives, which began to bear fruits as they prompted major index providers across the globe to reconsider the Kuwait’s market classification.

Over two years, Boursa Kuwait was upgraded to an emerging market by FTSE, S&P, and J.P Morgan.

Furthermore, Kuwait’s stock market is expecting a potential reclassification by MSCI in 2019.

As for the remaining markets in the GCC region, Saudi Arabian Tadawul’s main index (TASI) added 3.8% March, Marakez said, adding that the overall yearly gain for Saudi Arabia stands at 12.3% which makes it rank as the best among all GCC market for 2019.

“On the anticipation of Tadawul being upgraded by FTSE Russell, MSCI, and S&P Dow Jones (S&P DJI) indices, foreign investors are looking to increase their investments in the Saudi Stock Exchange. Foreign investors have been a net buyer since December 2018, as the net traded value by foreign investors in 2019 (up to 27 March) is at SAR 8.2 billion ($2.18 billion),” Marakez added.

The stock exchanges of Qatar, Bahrain, and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) ended March on a flat note, while the Abu Dhabi index (ADX) registered a monthly decline of 1.2%.

Oman trailed all other markets with a monthly drop of 3.9%.

Source: Mubasher

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