Gulf economies will be in "wait and see mode" until the beginning of next year, the head of Nasdaq Dubai said on Monday.
Jeff Singer said he had become more bearish in the last quarter as trading volumes on the region's five largest stock exchanges plummeted by 70 percent.
"That's not good news," he said, adding that any IPOs this year would probably come from smaller companies.
Many investors are staying on the sidelines and will most likely remain there until the first quarter of next year.
"If you had asked me four months ago I would have said probably the third quarter, or the fourth [this year]," he said.
Still, stabilising stock prices are an indication that we are seeing a "nascent" recovery, he added.
"The recovery is going to be highly dependent on what happens in the rest of the world."
The Middle East has only seen 11 IPOs, raising a total of $500 million, so far this year. Out of those, five were companies that listed on the newly launched stock exchange in Syria.
Another one was Drake & Scull's listing in Dubai following the contracting firm's IPO in June last year.For all the latest market news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.