The Palestine Stock Exchange announced the most important results and achievements it achieved in the year 2022, and the most important future aspirations of the Palestine Stock Exchange during the current year 2023.
This came in the annual press conference held by the Stock Exchange in Ramallah under the title “Harvest of the Stock Exchange 2022 Which witnessed a remarkable presence on the part of press and media institutions, and representatives of the securities sector in general, led by the Palestinian Capital Market Authority and many listed companies, in addition to representatives of brokerage firms.
Samir Hulileh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Stock Exchange, opened the conference with a quick review of the most important events that the Palestinian economy experienced during the past year, which in turn had a great impact on its performance, especially in light of the limited recovery that it witnessed since 2020, after which the decline phase began, as a result of the global financial crisis and international conditions. Geopolitics and the resulting inflation and rise in prices worldwide. He added that the Palestinian securities sector was not immune from these rapid changes, which cast a shadow over its ability to deal with the scarcity of liquidity and achieve satisfactory levels for all investors, indicating at the same time that the expected indicators of the growth of the local economy for the current year 2023 portend a further contraction. and slow down, as current data confirm that the growth index will not achieve more than 2.5% compared to what it achieved in 2022 and 2021 when it recorded a growth of 3.6% and 7%, respectively.
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Hulileh indicated that the current efforts focus on reorienting the investment compass in Palestine and giving the securities sector its share that is commensurate with its ability to advance the development and advance the economic reality, in light of the weak general orientations of the Palestinian investors to invest in the securities sector compared to their investments in the deposits sector. Banking and real estate investments, as the number of investors in the Palestine Stock Exchange until the end of the year 2022 reached nearly 70 thousand investors distributed over 123 thousand accounts with different classifications between active and passive, with only 2500 new accounts opened during this year.
In turn, the General Manager of the Palestine Exchange, Mr. Nihad Kamal, focused in his intervention on the most prominent performance indicators in the stock exchange during the year 2022, as it witnessed new exceptional listings and important deals, in addition to the launch of the Al-Quds Islamic Index. In addition to the Al-Safa Islamic Bank, in addition to what the Stock Exchange witnessed during this year in terms of executing the largest deal in its history, with a value of approximately $51 million, on the shares of the Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO Holding).
He added, “The statistical data issued by the Stock Exchange confirms that it has achieved an outstanding performance compared to the Arab and international markets, as its main index, the Al-Quds Index, increased by 5.14%, while some Arab markets witnessed noticeable declines, such as the Saudi market and the Qatar Stock Exchange, and some international indices witnessed sharp declines amounting to For example, about 33% for the Nasdaq index and 20% for the Standard & Poor’s index.
And Kamal added, “In terms of trading values and volumes, during the year 2022, approximately $473 million were traded, an increase of 13% over trading values for the year 2021, thus recording one of the highest annual trading values achieved by the Stock Exchange over the course of thirteen years since 2010. The number of shares traded this year increased by 21%, reaching approximately 244 million shares through approximately 35 thousand transactions, an increase of 4% over the number of transactions executed during the year 2021, and the daily rate of trading was about $1.9 million distributed over 247 sessions. Tadawul, while the market value of the Stock Exchange at the end of the year 2022 reached the highest number it reached in its history, at about $4.9 billion, an increase of 11% over the year 2021.
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In a related context, Hulileh said: “The year 2023 will witness a special effort to expand the base of listed companies, and discussions in this regard with the concerned parties are already underway, especially in light of the talk about establishing new public shareholding companies in different sectors, in addition to active companies, whether public or private. Those that can be converted to be a public shareholding,” stressing at the same time that the stock exchange needs to reconsider the nature and composition of the listed companies in terms of their relationship with investors, and their shares available for trading, which in turn constitute the largest lever of liquidity in the market.
He added, “The Palestinian securities sector has witnessed many developments in the regulatory environment, especially with the approval of the new companies law, as the Palestinian Capital Market Authority has been working on issuing a draft law on treasury shares and Islamic sukuk, and controls for the transformation of public shareholding companies into private shareholding companies, in parallel with work on The issuance of the updated version of the Code of Corporate Governance in its second edition, which takes into account the issue of sustainability and some aspects that are compatible with the new Companies Law.
Hulileh also indicated that efforts during the coming period must focus on empowering the securities sector and adapting the legal environment to serve investors in this sector, with the need to empower youth and Palestinians at home in a way that makes the stock exchange more attractive compared to the available investment tools in an easy and accessible manner. , which requires concerted efforts by the components of the securities sector and the Palestinian Monetary Authority to reach these goals.”
He stressed that the stock exchange needs to pump new investment tools that are compatible with the aspirations of investors, such as bonds and crowdfunding funds that constitute a lever to support new and emerging projects in Palestine, in addition to activating the role of investment funds in the local market.