Fitch upgraded its rating on the Government of Egypt by one notch to B+ on 21 March, one notch higher than S&P and two higher than Moody's.
Listing of largest GCC companies: 19 have market cap over $10bn
GCC stock markets had a mixed year in 2017, with Bahrain and Kuwait showing gains, Oman Qatar and the UAE falling back, and the Saudi index almost unchanged over the year.
An end of year report from SICO, the Bahrain investment bank, shows that the Kuwait Stock Exchange ended 2017 up 11.5% and Bahrain was up 9.1%. Qatar was down 18.3%, Oman down 11.8% and the two UAE exchanges, the Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, were down 4.6% and 3.3%.
Saudi Tadawul ended the year up 0.2%.
This mixed performance by GCC stock markets contrasts with a consistently positive performance by international indices during 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25.1% and the S&P up 19.4%. The Nikkei index was up 19.1% and the DAX 12.5. The FTSE was the least good performer in 2017, ending the year up only 7.6%.
The MSCI Emerging Market index was up 34.3%.
The SICO report put the market capitalisation of the GCC’s stock markets at $909bn at the end of 2017, of which Saudi Arabia accounted for $445.1bn, representing 49%. The UAE accounted for $216.5bn (24%), Qatar $125.9bn (14%), Kuwait $82.1bn (9%), Bahrain $19.7% (2%) and Oman $19.3bn (2%).
The SICO report also lists the largest GCC companies, in terms of their market capitalisation at the end of the year.
We have extracted from the report the companies that SICO shows having a market capitalisation greater than or equal to $10bn at the end of the year. There were 19 such companies, of which 10 were in Saudi Arabia, five in the UAE, and two each in Qatar and Kuwait. Eleven of the companies were banks although the biggest three were not. The table is attached below.
We have also extracted from the report the largest five companies in each of the six GCC countries, as listed by SICO. Again, banks dominate the list, accounting for three of the biggest five in Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE, and two of the biggest five in the other three GCC countries. The table is attached below.
SICO is a Bahrain-based investment bank that publishes research on GCC companies, sectors and economies. www.sicobahrain.com.
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