(MENAFN Press) Kuwait Financial Centre "Markaz" said in its recent report, titled "GCC Research Statistics" that equity markets witnessed almost the same level of attention in 1H12, compared to the previous half. A total of 19 brokers published 218 research notes on 89 companies during the half, compared to 208 research notes published in 2H11.
The report noted that during the first half of 2012, 13% of all GCC companies received research coverage, representing 69% of the total market cap. Saudi Arabia, which continued to attract the most attention, accounted for 44% of research notes, followed by the UAE with 18%.
According to Markaz's report UAE, after Bahrain, was the most preferred equity market in 1H12, with 80% of the reports receiving "Buy" ratings. On the flip side, Kuwait had a majority of "Hold" calls, at 47%.
In terms of top researched stocks, Qatar Telecom and Almarai topped the list with 9 research notes followed by Savola Group Company and Eithad Etisalat. The latter and Riyad Bank feature among stocks with the highest upside potential going forward, as per broker recommendations.
As for market capitalization coverage, Qatar has the highest coverage in the first half of 2012 (86%) followed by Saudi Arabia and Oman with 79% and 73% market cap coverage, respectively. On a quarterly basis also, Qatar leads in terms of market cap coverage with 84% in the 1st and 2nd Quarters.
Markaz report indicates that Qatar was the most researched country in terms of percentage of companies covered to total companies listed in the country. About 27% of all listed companies in Qatar, accounting for 86% of the local market capitalization, received coverage in 1H12.
Banking continues to be the most researched sector with 65 notes; 52 of these 65 were "Buy" calls, 12 were "Hold" calls, while the remaining were "Sell". After Banking, Telecommunications sector was the most researched sector, with 32 "Buy" recommendations and 2 "Sell" calls.
The Industrial Services sector received only 3 "Sell" recommendations.
The top five "Buy" stocks included two from Oman, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Qatar. Raysut Cement Company gained 80.8% since the first recommendation and emerged as the best "Buy" pick.
Oman Cement Company emerged as the second best "Buy" stock with 40% gain since the first recommendation. The worst "Buy" call was on Banque Saudi Fransi, which lost 20.71% since the call.
This was followed by Saudi British Bank, which lost -20.54% since the first recommendation.