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Equity Valuation Using Multiples in the Emerging Market of the United Arab Emirates

Omran M. F.
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Omran M. F.: College of Business and Management, University of Sharjah

Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, 2003, vol. 1, issue 3, 72-88

Abstract: This study offers some preliminary results about stock valuation in the emerging market of the United Arab Emirates. It examines the determinants of three valuation multiples in the period from 1996–2001, the price sales (PS), the price book value (PBV) and the price earnings (PE). Consistent with economic theory it is found that (1) the PS is positively significantly related to net profit margin; (2) the PBV is positively significantly related to return on equity; and (3) PE is positively significantly related to the payout ratio. The PE proved to be the most difficult to model because of the existence of outliers. These outliers can be explained by two extreme cases: Case 1, companies that have very low payout and growth rates, and still achieve the highest PE ratios; Case 2, companies that tend to pay far more in dividends compared to what they achieved in profit. Abu Dhabi Islamic bank seems to be trading at higher PE and PS multiples compared with commercial banks due to its clientele appreciation of its services rather than the net profit margin achieved or the dividends paid. Judged by R2 and statistical evidence, the PBV and PS valuation models stand a better chance of explaining and possibly predicting prices in the UAE than the PE model.

Date: 2003
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DOI: 10.2202/1475-3693.1016

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