Privatisation of Muscat bourse on the cards
December 16, 2017 | 5:28 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
Times file picture

Muscat: Oman’s market regulator plans to privatise the country’s Muscat Securities Market (MSM), over the long term, by offering shares to the public.

To begin the privatisation programme, a company will be established to own the MSM, and the same will be brought under the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon, director general of MSM, told Times of Oman.

“It was an issue discussed some time back, and the government took a decision to proceed with it, since the time is appropriate to form a company now. To start with, SGRF will be the owner of MSM. And when the market’s trading volume improves and the climate is encouraging, the company shares will be listed,” added Al Marhoon.

Abdullah bin Salim Al Salmi, executive president of the Capital Market Authority, earlier said that the Capital Market Law has to be amended to convert MSM as a company. “We are expecting that (listing of shares) to happen within three to five years,” added Al Salmi.

Although the Muscat bourse has some 125 listed stocks, only 109 stocks were traded on the stock market last year. The total turnover dipped by 31 per cent to OMR959 million in 2016, from OMR1,390 million in the previous year. The average daily turnover for last year was OMR3.96 million, down by 29.3 per cent from OMR5.6 million in the previous year.

The Muscat bourse’s general index declined by 12.47 per cent year-to-date to close at 5,061.79 points on Thursday.

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