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                                        Volume. 12120

Tehran Stock Exchange leads MENA financial markets in 2011: The Economist
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_jan02_17_04_stockmarkets.jpgTEHRAN: While the stock markets of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experienced a very poor year in 2011, Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) has witnessed an unprecedented growth of 30 percent in 2011, leading the financial markets of the region, a report of the Economist Group said.

The Economist Group in its new report entitled “Business Middle East: January 16th 2012” noted that Iran stock market flourished during 2011, simultaneously most of other stock markets of the region experienced negative growth.

With a few unrepresentative exceptions, MENA stock markets had a poor year in 2011, reflecting both the political turbulence across the region and the battering suffered by most global markets as a result of the euro zone crisis and the increasingly bearish outlook for the global economy, the report added.

The two outliers were Iraq and Iran, whose main indices both rose by just over 30%. However, the Iraqi performance is distorted by the tiny size of the Baghdad stock market, while the rise in stock prices in Iran was heavily influenced by the placement of huge privatization shares, despite international sanctions. Besides Iran and Iraq, Qatar was the only country in the region to witness a rise in the main index, albeit by only 1%.

The overall performance was in stark contrast to 2010 when most of the region’s markets advanced strongly, with Jordan, Lebanon and Dubai the only ones to drop significantly.  

Saudi Arabia’s stock market had another largely disappointing year, despite the strong performance of the economy as a whole, in particular by the non-oil private sector. 

Elsewhere in the Persian Gulf there was more disappointment in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai as the MSCI decided in December to maintain its classification of frontier market for these bourses.

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