Muscat: The main index of the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) rose in September above 4,500 points, up by 2.8 per cent from its August level of 124 points, to reach 4,543 points. This comprises a rise for the second month in a row, benefitting from the return of optimism to investors after the successive rise of oil prices, which exceeded US$80 a barrel at the end of the month compared to $76 in early September.
This optimism was reflected on the market sector indices, all of which rose except for the Sharia index which lost one point, while the services sector index recorded the best gains, with a 3.8 per cent rise and closed at 2,465 points, up by 90 points at the end of August.
The financial sector index came at the top of the index in terms of the increase in the number of points after gaining 140 points and closed at 7,032 points, up by 2 per cent. The industrial sector index rose by 1.5 per cent to close at 5,535 points, up by 82 points.
The stock prices were supported by investors' buying with positive expectations for the third quarter results, in addition to an increase in local purchases of OMR43.1 million, representing 88.2 per cent of the total turnover, against OMR33.5 million sales, representing 68.6 per cent of the total trading value.
Domestic institutional investors accounted for 59.4 per cent of total trading, against 39.8 per cent of the total traded value.
The value of trading rose last month to OMR48.9 million, against OMR25 million in August. The number of executed transactions rose from 6,295 to 11,413.
Bank Muscat was the most heavily traded company in terms of turnover at OMR13.3 million, representing 27.3 per cent of total trading value. Dhofar Generating Company ranked second with OMR5.7 million, representing 11.7 per cent of the total value. The company was listed on September 5, after completing 40 per cent of its capital for public subscription.
Last month, the share witnessed 1,211 transactions, which accounted for 10.6 per cent of the total number of transactions executed during the month. The share managed to consolidate at the end of the month to close at 223 baisas, down by 2 baisas from the initial public offering (IPO) price, despite a decline after listing to 205 baisas.
Last month, prices of 33 stocks rose, 20 fell against a rise of 22 and the fall of 35 stocks in August.
Oman National Engineering and Investment was the best performer, closing at 184 baisas, up by 21 per cent. Al Sharqiyah Desalination came second with 18.4 per cent, closing at OMR3.20. Al Maha Petroleum Products was up by 880 baisas, a rise of 15.1 per cent.
Oman Chlorine recorded the highest loss, closing at 316 baisas, down by 21 per cent. Oman Cement fell to 340 baisas, down by 10.5 per cent and United Finance fell to 92 baisas, down by 8 per cent.
The market capitalisation of listed companies increased by OMR18.11 billion at the end of last month, recording OMR524.5 million gains from the end of August, benefiting from higher stock prices and the listing of a number of securities in the bond market and the third closed market. Last month saw the issuance of issue No. 58 of government development bonds worth OMR150 million.
Last month, the National Pharmaceutical Industries announced that it had decided to switch from a public shareholding company to a closed joint stock company, stating that it has received preliminary approval from the Capital Market Authority and would invite shareholders to an extraordinary general assembly to discuss the proposal.
National Pharmaceutical Industries is owned by two companies, which own 99.7 per cent of the total number of shares, namely Oman Investment Fund, which owns 69.6 per cent of the shares and Middle East Investment, which owns 30 per cent of the shares.
National Pharmaceutical Industries said the two companies supported the move to a closed joint stock company and that they have pledged to buy all the shares held by other shareholders at a price of 189 baisas per share if they so desired, indicating that the offer to buy shares ends on October 31, 2018.