Although the fortunes of the banking industry have improved after taking the first hit of the financial crisis, the lack of a strong economic recovery is weighing down on the performance of other sectors.

The combined market capitalisation of the region’s 100 largest listed companies, as calculated at the start of March, is just 2 per cent higher than in MEED’s 2010 listing. This compares with a 37 per cent jump the year before. In particular, the real-estate sector is feeling the force of the new economic climate, with developers that consistently ranked among the region’s largest companies, now dropping out of the MEED 100.

Expectations that 2011 would see a continuation of the economy recovery have been dashed due to caution among corporates and consumers. The wave of political uprisings currently destabilising the Middle East and North Africa region will compound the situation further. There is now a heightened risk perception among investors and trading in Egypt and Bahrain has been disrupted.

Next year’s MEED 100 is unlikely to reveal a remarkable resurgence.

Click here for the attached spreadsheet with the full list of MEED’s Top 100 largest companies in the region.