Muscat: The value of trading on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) stood at OMR626.3 million, a decline by 7.5 per cent during the first nine months of 2018, compared to the corresponding period last year at OMR677.2 million.
The number of securities traded increased by 2.5 per cent to hit 3.264 billion securities compared to 3.183 billion securities during the corresponding period last year. The highest value of trading was recorded in May 2018 with OMR154.9 million. The least value of trading was recorded in August 2018 with OMR25.5 million.
During the first nine months of 2018, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stock markets including MSM were under pressures that led to the indices going downward. The downward movement affected the sentiments of investors and led to the main index losing 556 points by the end of September 2018. This decline was less in the first nine months of this year compared to last year when the index lost 645 points. At the end of September 2018, the market closed at 4,543 points, a drop by 10.9 per cent compared to 5,099 points at the end of December 2017.
The index went up three times in 2018, the most notable of which was by 124 points in September 2018. The index went downward six times, the biggest of which was when it lost 235 points in July 2018.
MSM gross market capitalisation stood at OMR18.12 billion at the end of September 2018, a growth of OMR166.7 million compared to OMR17.9 million at the end of September 2017. The upward movement was attributed to the growth in market capitalisation of the Sukuk and securities market, which increased to OMR3.1 billion by the end of September 2018, a growth by OMR503.3 million compared to its level by the end of last year. The market capitalisation for the closed joint stock companies, which are not traded in the market increased to OMR7.4 billion, an increase of OMR319 million compared to the end of 2017.
The total market capitalisation of the joint stock companies at the end of September 2018 stood at OMR7.5 billion compared to OMR8.1 billion at the end of last year, a loss of more than OMR655.6 million.
Last July 2018, the 57th issue of the government development bonds (GDB) worth OMR100 million were listed on MSM. The issue consists of one million bonds with a nominal value of OMR100 each. The issue No. 58 of the government development bond worth OMR150 million was listed on MSM in September 2018. The issue includes 1.5 million bonds with a nominal value of OMR100 each.
This year, three companies were listed on MSM as joint stock companies. Muscat City Desalination Company whose capital was OMR15.5 million, offered 54.4 million shares for public subscription with a nominal value of 116 baisas per share.
During the first nine months of 2018, Arabia Falcon Insurance was transformed into a public joint stock company with a capital of OMR10.3 million. The company was listed on the parallel market on May 16, 2018. Dhofar Generating Company with a capital of OMR22.2 million was also listed in September 2018 after the company offered 40 per cent of its shares for public subscription at 221 baisas per share.
On the other hand, Port Services Corporation exited MSM after initiating the liquidation decision, which was made on January 1, 2018. Oman Hotels and Tourism Company was also transformed from a public joint stock company into a closed joint stock company with a capital of OMR6.9 million. The National Pharmaceutical Company announced that it would transform from a public joint stock company to a closed joint stock company after receiving the Capital Market Authority's (CMA) initial approval over the move.
During the first nine months of 2018, Dhofar Insurance Company restructured its capital and National Securities Company changed its brand name to Celebrity National Financial Service Company after signing a restructuring agreement by which Celebrity Global General Trading Company acquired 51 per cent of its capital.
As for mergers, Alizz Islamic Bank and Oman Arab Bank (OAB) expressed their desire to merge. National Bank of Oman (NBO) and Bank Dhofar said in two separate disclosures that they decided to initiate dialogue to consider the possibility of merging both entities.