Muscat: Muscat Securities Market (MSM) declined by 14.77 per cent or 937 points to close at 5,406.22 points in the just concluded year, primarily hit by falling oil prices.
The Omani bourse was the fourth best performing stock market in the Gulf region, after Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait. The worst performing bourse in the GCC region was Saudi Arabia, which shed 17.08 per cent to close at 6,901.36 points in 2015.
According to market sources, the average price of Oman Crude in the international market fell by 45.2 per cent to $57.4 per barrel for the first 11 months of 2015 from $104.70 a barrel for the same period last year, resulting in heavy selling by institutional investors.
“The overall corporate profitability is not expected to go below its 2014 level. However, there has been a change in sentiment as investors look forward to next year. That has resulted in a shrinkage in valuation,” Suresh Kumar, head of research at Al Maha Financial Services, told ‘Times of Oman’.
As many as 35 shares gained, while another 67 stocks fell on the bourse in 2015. The Muscat bourse has around 125 listed stocks. The market volumes were also showing a fall during the year as investors kept away from the bourse.
“The average daily turnover or investor participation was down by 39.7 per cent to OMR5.6 million in 2015 from as high as OMR9.29 million in 2014,” added Suresh Kumar.
Among various sub-segments, industrial sector was severely hit with a fall of 19.06 per cent in index, followed by financial (-15.99 per cent) and services (-12.07 per cent) indices. Increase in cost, after a hike in natural gas price, has affected several manufacturing industries, including cement, ceramic tiles and steel units.
Major gainers on the Muscat bourse in 2015 were United Power (107 per cent), Gulf International Chemicals (71 per cent), ONIC Holding (52 per cent), and Sharqiyah Desalination (43 per cent), in addition to Gulf Stones (34 per cent). Likewise, the major losers included Renaissance Services, Port Services Corporation, Al Jazeera Steel Products, and Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company, in addition to National Gas.
The Muscat bourse posted a turnover of OMR1,389.65 million on a turnover of 5733.82 million shares. This is against a turnover of OMR2.27 billion in 2014.
The major companies in terms of traded value were Bank Muscat, Al Anwar Holding, HSBC Bank Oman, and Oman Telecommunications Company, in addition to Phoenix Power. The market capitalisation of MSM stood at OMR15.78 billion by December-end.