GCC equities poised for growth
Manama, January 26, 2012
This year should be a stronger one for GCC equity markets unless there is some major disaster, according to Anthony Mallis, the Securities & Investment Company (SICO) chief executive.
Taking a positive attitude for the year ahead, Mallis said, 'Unless there is some major disaster in the European economy, a conflict over the Strait of Hormuz or a tsunami, I would expect the markets to move forward this year.'
Speaking on the sidelines of the Arindon annual capital markets and investors conference, he remarked, 'It was perception that had been driving markets in the GCC rather than fundamentals and perceptions had been negative.'
'Last year corporate earnings in the GCC grew by 20 per cent and that is very positive and economic growth has been north of 4pc. Europe would be very envious of that,' said the SICO chief.
'But this has not translated into the markets which were all in negative territory last year apart from Qatar,' he added.
He said that other markets had influenced the regional ones which were no longer de-coupled from the rest of the world and sentiment about geopolitical unease over Iran in the second half of last year had contributed to creating a negative risk appetite.
'Markets have to be driven and there is a lot of capital and opportunities in the region,' said the SICO chief.
'Unless there are any great surprises, we expect 2012 will be a far better year than last year,' he noted.
'The IMF is predicting a slowdown in the world economy, so it will be a tough market but easier than 2011 which was as bad as 2008,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service