Middle East equity research poll 2007: Regional research starts to blossom
Only four years ago, the kind of research familiar to more developed capital markets was almost unknown in the Middle East. However, the quality of information available to investors is improving rapidly as global banks establish footholds. But Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest market, has been left behind. Dominic O’Neill reports.
AT THE BEGINNING of May, stocks on the Bourse de Casablanca were trading on an average of 22 times earnings, the highest P/E ratio in the region. It was the end of a long bull run. But even as prices began to fall, most of the research in the country continued to be overwhelmingly positive about company prospects, and in some cases was even more positive than before. Morocco, with only a handful of local banks producing at best acceptable research, is perhaps a far-flung example.