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Global Investment House launches first telecoms index for Gulf region

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Kuwait-based Global Investment House has announced the launch of the GCC Telecom Index, the latest in a series of benchmarks, to track the performance of the booming telecommunications sec

Kuwait-based Global Investment House has announced the launch of the GCC Telecom Index, the latest in a series of benchmarks, to track the performance of the booming telecommunications sector in the Gulf Co-operation Council region.

‘The telecom sector has witnessed rapid growth over the past few years, with regional governments embracing the end of monopoly in its quest to liberalise the sector,’ says Global executive vice-president Omar M. El-Quqa, who says the opening up of GCC markets is set to prompt increasing competition between local and international telecoms providers.

The new index will track the performance of listed telecoms companies throughout the GCC region as a whole and seeks to boost among foreign and local investors that are targeting telecoms companies. To be eligible for inclusion, a company’s article of association must indicate that it provides mobile phone, paging and related services.

The GCC Telecom Index currently comprises 10 stocks with a total market capitalisation of USD138.36bn at the end of last year, representing 12.44 percent of the total market capitalisation of GCC-listed stocks.

They include some of the region’s biggest companies, such as like Zain Kuwait, which makes up 12.6 percent of the total market capitalisation of the Kuwait Stock Exchange. With Saudi Telecom and the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, Zain is one of three companies that together comprised some 71 per cent of the total index capitalisation at the end of last year.

Over the past eight years, the index has achieved a positive performance every year, with a high of 63.9 per cent in 2003, and posted a cumulative return of 390.52 per cent. In the future, newly-listed telecoms companies that meet the index’s criteria will be added on the day of listing.

Global Investment House, an investment company incorporated in 1998, has branches and affiliates in Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Qatar, and Sudan and had USD8.6bn in assets under management at the end of last year.

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