Muscat: After declining for two consecutive months, the Omani stock market witnessed gains during March-2021 that pushed year-to-date performance into the green, according to a new report.
The MSM 30 Index gained 2.7 per cent during the month resulting in a year-to-date gain of 1.4 per cent, the Kuwait-based investment, strategy and research firm, Kamco Invest said.
“Gains during the month came solely on the back of the Financial index that gained 5.0 per cent during the month while the Industry and Services indices declined by 0.1 per cent and 0.32 per cent, respectively,” the research report stated.
However, in terms of year-to-date performance, the Industry index continues to lead with a gain of 7.6 per cent followed by the Financial index at 0.9 per cent while the Services index continued to remain in the red with a decline of 2.9 per cent.
The surge in the Financial Index came mainly on the back of double digit gain in shares of large-cap companies like HSBC Bank Oman and National Bank of Oman (NBO) at 16.7 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively, further supported by even higher gain in small-caps stocks including Al Anwar Investment, Muscat Finance and Oman & Emirates Inv.
The 5.8 per cent gain in shares of Bank Muscat also supported the growth that was partially offset by noticeable decliners like Ominvest by 4.8 per cent, Bank Nizwa by 3.1 per cent and OAB by 1.3 per cent.
Trading activity on the exchange also remained upbeat during the month. Value traded during the month more than doubled to OMR82.6 million as compared to OMR35 million during February-2021. Volume traded increased by more than 150 per cent to reach 654.3 million shares in March-2021 as compared 253.3 million shares during the previous month.
Ahli Bank topped the monthly value traded chart with OMR43.4 million worth of shares changing hands during the month followed by Bank Muscat and Al Anwar Investment with OMR6.7 million and OMR 4.6 million, respectively.
In terms of monthly volume, Ahli Bank once again topped with 383.2 million traded shares during the month followed by Al Anwar Investment and Madina Takaful with 57.7 million shares and 23.4 million traded shares, respectively.
Omani investors remained active during the month and were net buyers with an 92.4 per cent share of total value of buy trades during the month as compared to 80.9 per cent during February-2021.
In terms of total value of sell trades,their share stood at 91.5 per cent in March-2021 against 79.5 per cent during the previous month.
GCC markets remain upbeat
The performance of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) equity markets remained largely positive during March-2021 with gains in most markets and marginal declines in Dubai and Bahrain, Kamco Invest said in its monthly research note.
Saudi once again topped with a gain of 8.3 per cent, followed by 4.4 per cent gains for the Abu Dhabi which closed at a record high at the end of the month. As a result, the MSCI GCC Index gained 7.0 per cent during the month, that pushed the gains to 12.7 per cent.
The index gained 2.54 per cent on the last trading day of the month, the biggest single-day surge in more than a year, led by 2.8 per cent gain in TASI (Saudi bourse). Abu Dhabi continued to lead in the GCC in terms of gains that reached 17.2 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia with a growth of 14.0 per cent.
Trading activity in the GCC remained upbeat as well reaching a 9-month high at US$92.2 billion with a monthly increase of 20.5 per cent during March-2021.
The sector performance chart for the month showed healthy gains across the board with all the sectors in the green. The Retailing sector topped in March-2021 with a gain of 10.3 per cent followed by Banks and Materials indices with gains of 8.6 per cent and 8.5 per cent.