Muscat: The MSX 30 index registered a gain of 2.5 percent during November-2023 to close the month at 4,658.15 points recording the first monthly gain after two consecutive declines, according to a new report.
“In terms of sectoral performance, all the three sector indices on the exchange also recorded broad-based increases during November-2023. The Financial Sector Index recorded the biggest increase among the indices registering 11.7 percent gain during November-2023 to close the month at 8,275.45 points,” Kamco Invest said in its GCC Markets Monthly Report November 2023.
This mainly driven by a rise in shares of most of the companies in the sector such as Al Madina Investment (+44.7 percent) and Oman Investment & Finance Co (+18.75 percent). The monthly gain for such heavyweight companies contributed to both the sector index as well as the general index. In comparison, the Services Index registered 11.5 percent monthly gain during November-2023 to close the month at 1,773.5 points while the Industrial Index witnessed an increase of 5.2 percent closing at 5,720.9 points.
In terms of company performance, National Aluminium Products Company topped the gainers list with a share price gain of 45 percent followed by Al Madina Investment Holding and the National Detergent Company with 44.7 percent and 32.1 percent monthly share gains, respectively.
On the decliner’s side, Dhofar Cattle Feed led the league with a 14.5 percent share price fall followed by Oman Refreshment Company and Muscat Gases which witnessed a share price drop of 12.5 percent each, the Kamco Invest report said. Shares of Al Madina Investment surged after the company announced that its board had decided to convert the company from a public joint stock company to a closed joint stock company.
Trading activity on the exchange witnessed significant gains during November-2023 and stood at the highest level since October-2015. Total volume of shares traded in the exchange increased by 65 percent to 1.2 billion during November-2023 shares as compared to 721 million in October-2023. Similarly, total value traded in the exchange increased by 93.7 percent to OMR274.4 million against OMR141.7 million in October-2023.
Oman Telecommunications Company topped the monthly value traded chart with trades at OMR19.7 million followed by Bank Muscat and Sohar Bank with total value traded at OMR15.8 million and OMR8.9 million, respectively. In terms of monthly volume traded, Bank Muscat topped the list for the fifth consecutive month with 827.6 million shares followed by Bank Sohar Bank and Oman Telecommunications Co with volumes at 126.6 million shares and 18.8 million shares, respectively, the Kamco Invest report said.
In economic news, the IMF recently concluded its Article IV consultation visit to Oman. The agency forecasts 1.3 percent growth for Oman’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2023 as compared to 4.3 percent expansion during 2022. The IMF underlined that Oman’s economy is supported by favourable oil prices and sustained reform momentum as inflation remains contained. The agency said that the Sultanate’s structural reform agenda under Vision 2040 is progressing, with numerous reforms under the implementation stage to foster Oman's inclusive growth, enhance job creation, and bolster resilience. The IMF highlighted Oman’s prudent fiscal management and high oil prices as the impetus for the economic improvement of 2022. However, despite the falling GDP growth forecast in 2023 due to OPEC+ oil cuts the IMF has indicated that it expects the Sultanate’s GDP to recover in 2024 supported by higher hydrocarbon production as well as stronger non-oil growth.
The GCC equity market index witnessed the first gain in four months after benchmarks across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries witnessed gains during the month, the Kmaco report said. The MSCI GCC index was up by 5.2% during November-2023 mainly led by optimism in the global markets following expectations that interest rates have peaked and central banks may start cutting rates next year, most likely during the second half.
Qatar was the best performing market in the GCC with a return of 5.4 percent followed by Saudi Arabia and Dubai with gains of 4.6 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. The monthly gains lowered the year-to-date (YTD)-2023 decline for the region to 2.4 percent as four out of the seven regional benchmarks still showed declines while Dubai followed by Saudi Arabia showed healthy YTD gains of 19.7 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.
On the sectoral front, almost all regional indices showed gains during November-2023, barring the GCC Insurance index that dropped marginally by 0.4 percent. On the gainers side, Pharma & Biotech was leading with a gain of 21.4 percent followed by Consumer Durable & Apparel and Healthcare indices with gains of 14 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively. Large-cap sectors like Banking showed impressive gains of 6.6 percent while Energy and Materials indices showed relatively smaller gains of 1.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
On the international front, almost all key global markets were up during the month with healthy gains. The optimism pushed the MSCI World index to the highest in almost four months with a gain of 9.2 percent, the biggest monthly gain in three years. The YTD-2023 gain for the index stood at 16.2 percent. US Tech stocks were the best performing during the month with the NASDAQ Composite index gaining 10.7 percent during the month while the S&P 500 index was up by 8.9 percent. Emerging market index also witnessed a healthy gain of 7.9 percent during November-2023, the Kamco Invest report said.