MSM ends 2016 as the second best bourse in the Middle East

By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Dec 31: The Muscat Securities Market closed the year as the second best performing bourse in the region with 6.96 per cent rise in the benchmark index. The last trading of the year saw MSM30 Index surging by 0.31 per cent and closing at 5,782.710 points amid buying across the board. The index closed 2015 at 5,406.22 points. Dubai ended the year as the best-performing market with the index an increase of 12 per cent during the year, and edged up 0.3 per cent on Thursday.
Although the market cap registered a rise of 9.56 per cent from RO 15.78 billion in 2015 to RO 17.29 billion in 2016, the average daily turnover witnessed a massive fall of 29.29 per cent to 3.96 million last year from the previous year, when it stood at RO 5.60 million.
National Gas, Al Jazeera Steel, Oman United Insurance and Raysut Cement were the top four gainers in the regular market during the year with a percentage rise of 89.404, 80.882, 48.387 and 48 respectively.
The top three losers were Al Anwar Ceramic, Al Jazeera Services and Sohar Power with 44.408 per cent, 38.141 per cent and 34.659 per cent respectively.
On the last day of trading in 2016, the Financial, Industrial and Services Indices ended the day in green by surging 7 points, 23 points and 10 points respectively.
The MSM Shariah index closed the day up by 3 points. A total of 12.242 million shares were traded during the day amounting to aggregate turnover of RO 2.743 million.
Analysts are still optimistic about the performance of the local bourse in 2017 although they do not believe it is too early to turn outright bullish.
The Sultanate has one of the highest fiscal break-even oil prices in the GCC while its foreign exchange reserves are materially lower than its peers.
Most markets in the region ended the year with positive note.
Saudi Arabia’s index rose 4 per cent during the year, although it was down 23 per cent at one stage. It fell 0.4 per cent on Thursday as petrochemical stocks pulled back, with Saudi Basic Industries dropping 1.1 per cent.
Abu Dhabi gained 6 per cent during 2016 and climbed 1.7 per cent on Thursday because of a 2.5 per cent jump in telecommunications firm Etisalat, which saw its highest trading volume since June.
Qatar’s index added 1.0 per cent on Thursday in a broad-based rally, with all 10 of the most heavily traded stocks rising. It closed flat for the year.  Egypt’s index rose 0.7 per cent on Thursday, bringing its gain for the year to a spectacular 76 per cent.