Although the Al Quds index on the Palestine Stock Exchange hit new lows for the year in October, its performance for the first three quarters of 2011 outstripped that of all other stock markets in the Arab world. Figures produced by the Exchange show that its indices declined by an average of just 0.29 per cent in the period from January to the end of September, compared to second-ranked Qatar, which registered a fall of 3.31 per cent and third-ranked Abu Dhabi, where the drop was 6.86 per cent. In Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest market, the Tadawul scored a loss of 7.68 per cent, while for the worst performers—Egypt and Syria, the declines were 42.07 per cent and 44.27 per cent respectively.
Although the performance of the PEX was affected in October by the delayed outcome of the Palestinian bid for recognition at the United Nations, the Eurozone debt crisis, and by investors waiting for the country’s third quarter company results, the Exchange outperformed many others in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as in the US and Europe. It is now holding discussions with officials from both the global index company, MSCI, and London’s FTSE to discuss its inclusion in their frontier markets indices.