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12 Dec 2021

World Cup, IPOs to Buoy Gulf’s Stock Market in 2022 as Oil Boost Fades

The Index Today

Thanks to profitable oil prices since it’s been the best year in more than a decade for Gulf stocks. And investors are actually expecting better gains in 2022, driven by the soccer World Cup and new listings.

According to the present data available, the region’s stocks are on track for their best annual performance since 2007, with a return of 36% including dividends. That compares with 20% for the MSCI World Index, which tracks developed world markets, and a 1.9% loss for the MSCI Emerging Market index.

And Gulf equities have plenty of catalysts ahead, according to fund managers and strategists. Dubai has announced plans to list 10 state companies, including the main utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, in a bid to lure investors. World Cup-host Qatar, meanwhile, is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure and preparations for the event, According to Bloomberg News. With the outlook for oil prices uncertain after this year’s near 50% gain for Brent crude and with the risks surrounding the Covid pandemic, those initiatives could pick up some of the slack, supporting stocks in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, according to Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief strategy officer at Al Dhabi Capital Ltd., Bloomberg news added.

Yasin said that the outperformance of the main GCC markets will continue next year, although with a different momentum in selected markets. He expects Dubai and Qatar-listed stocks to lead gains in 2022, followed by Saudi and Abu Dhabi.

©Photo: REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

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