The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has become the GCC's worst performing stock market this year, having declined 60 per cent in the year to date, after its losses passed the Saudi Tadawul's 51 per cent fall. The world's worst performing market is the beleagured Iceland bourse, which has lost almost 90 per cent of its value. Almost every other index has fallen in value this year, but the DFM is one of a select few that has fallen by more than 60 per cent.
The other poor performers include Russia and Ukraine, but also the Chinese and Vietnamese indices. Ali Khan, executive director at Arqaam Capital, said that as well as concerns over Dubai's debt, investors were now factoring in losses in the property market, which they expected as companies announced their fourth quarter results. "Almost everyone is heading towards limit-down," Mr Khan said. "It has spooked me as it's hard to understand how people woke up on Sunday and decided to sell so heavily. The market is pricing in a terrible 2009."