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March 7, 2016 | 12:45 | Dubai
Judging by the widely used trailing price-to-earnings metric (P/E ratio), stocks listed on Dubai Financial Market (DFM) are now trading cheapest in the MENA region at 8.1x, while Morocco market is the most expensive at 15.9x. According to a report by Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” that released its Monthly Market Research report for February this year, Oman follows Dubai as the next cheapest market with TTM P/E ratio at 9.15x.
Overall, February was a good month for MENA markets, as nearly all indices ended the month in green. Dubai (8.1%) and Abu Dhabi (7.3%) indices led the charge, while Bahrain (-0.7%) and Jordan (-1.5%) lagged behind, the report added. Kuwait price (1.8%) and weighted (1.4%) indices fared well, after facing one of the worst starts to a year since 2009. Brent crude price improved marginally to close the month at $35.97 per barrel, up 3.5% from previous month’s close. Reflecting the change in fortunes, S&P GCC also improved by 3.7% in February, to close at 88 points. Momentum trading led to investors chasing small- and mid-cap stocks in the UAE stock exchanges, as investor confidence soared over speculation that the oil price had bottomed out. Steps, such as finding consensus for production cuts, are being taken to stabilize oil price, which lifted investor sentiments, and the fact that most of the stocks were available at a discount after the January fall directed investors in droves to the markets. Real estate and construction-related sectors performed well, led by Arabtec, which rose 20% in February.