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Monday, 2 January 2017

The National’s business reporters look ahead to what 2017 has in store | The National

The National’s business reporters look ahead to what 2017 has in store | The National:
"Aside from higher oil prices, the prospect of higher US government spending by incoming president Donald Trump has led to rosy predictions for global growth in 2017 by the OECD and others, which should benefit stock markets in the Arabian Gulf countries.

Emirates NBD is forecasting gains of up to 10 per cent for regional shares, excluding dividend gains, with blue chip names like Emaar Properties and Sabic set to attract foreign investors. Still, plenty of clouds remain on the horizon: oil production cuts may not be all they’re cracked up to be; local government spending cuts may yet stifle local economic recovery. And then there’s the ever-present prospect of a left-field 3am tweet from the leader of the free world that should stop investors getting too comfortable.

The Gulf’s stock markets were once again no place for the faint-hearted in 2016. Plunging oil prices and slowing government spending sent regional equities tumbling, hitting a four-year low in the early part of the year. Equities gradually stabilised throughout the year before enjoying a stellar December in the wake of an agreement by Opec and non-Opec members to cut production in order to shore up government revenues. Bloomberg’s GCC 200 Index, which shed 17 per cent in the first three weeks of the year, finished 4.2 per cent higher for the year."

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