KUWAIT CITY - The value of shares traded on Gulf stock markets plummeted this year, a report said on Sunday, in the latest sign of how the region's economies are struggling with the drop in oil prices.
The United Arab Emirates' exchanges in Dubai and Abu Dhabi led the dive in liquidity levels, which measure the value of traded shares and are normally a reflection of the health of national economy.
Liquidity at the Dubai Financial Market, the most open to global markets and investments, fell 72.6 percent in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period last year, Kuwait's Al-Shall Consultants said.
At the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, liquidity levels in the first nine months of the year dropped 71.1 percent, followed by the Qatar Bourse which fell 65.6 percent, Al-Shall said in a report.
Liquidity at the Saudi Tadawul market, the largest capitalised Arab shares market, slumped by 63.4 percent, the Muscat market dropped by 61.9 percent and the Bahrain bourse lost 31 percent.
The Boursa Kuwait managed the lowest drop with just 6.3 percent, the report said.
"The collapse in oil prices and violent geopolitical events in the region have combined... to dent liquidity levels," at Gulf bourses, the report said.
The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia -- have lost hundreds of billions of dollars from low oil prices since mid-2014.
Trading in all Gulf bourses has seen a lull in the past three years due to a lack of cash injections, as regional governments cut public spending to balance deficit budgets.
Total liquidity in the seven bourses dropped from $624 billion in the first three quarters of 2014 to just $227 billion in the same period this year, Al-Shall said.