Stock markets in Muslim countries usually rally during Ramadan-study

By Reuters Staff
August 9, 2010

datesRamadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar marked with fasting and prayer, is also an uplifting time for stock markets in predominantly Muslim countries, according to a study by the University of New Hampshire.

(Photo: A woman displays dates, a traditional food to break the Ramadan fast at sunset, in Amman on August 8, 2010/Muhammad Hamed)

Stock markets in Oman, Turkey, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia generated average returns of 38 percent during the month of Ramadan over the years 1989 through 2007, according to the report, compared with their average 4.3 percent returns the rest of the year.

Observance of Ramadan this year is expected to start on or about Aug. 11 and finish on or about Sept. 10.

“The implication of our find for investors is obvious,” Ahmad Etebari, a University of New Hampshire professor of finance who was lead researcher on the study. “Investors seeking fast profits in the Muslim world should try to profit from the fast.”

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