The MSM30 closed the week lower by 1.25 per cent on the back of drop in all sub-indices led by financials. Shariah index was however up by 0.09 per cent. The turnover and volumes were higher than last week by 77 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively. Foreigners continued to remain net sellers last week as well.
The number of insurance policies issued through various electronic windows and channels during the COVID-19 pandemic has exceeded 130,000, according to a report prepared by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) on the performance of the insurance companies in rendering service during the pandemic. This proves that the sector was able to render non-stop service to the public to meet their need for insurance coverage in light of the precautionary measures announced by the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic including suspension of conventional methods and closure of customers’ counters.
The majority of the companies listed on MSM announced their second-quarter results. Overall, the earnings of 97 companies whose year ends in December stood at RO 137.5mn in 2Q20 compared to RO 96.2mn in 1Q20 and RO 183.9mn in 2Q19. Financial sector earnings were at RO 96.3mn, higher 24 per cent QoQ but lower 14 per cent on YoY basis. The industrial sector reported loss of RO 7.95mn in 2Q20 compared to a profit of RO 9.3mn in 2Q19. While the services sector reported net income of RO 49mn, higher by 144 per cent QoQ but lower 21.5 per cent on YoY basis.
The Sultanate’s Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation declined by 0.73 per cent during June 2020 compared to the same month of 2019, according to the latest data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The food and non-alcoholic beverages group witnessed a price rise by 3.39 per cent; health by 0.98 per cent; education by 2.21 per cent, and restaurants and hotels by 0.88 per cent. However, the prices of transport fell by 6.95 per cent; furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance declined by 0.31 per cent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels dropped by 0.52 per cent; communication by 0.09 per cent; and miscellaneous goods and services by 1.62 per cent in June 2020 compared to the same month of 2019.
Small and Medium Enterprises in Oman continue to grow supported by government friendly and supportive laws for the entrepreneurs in Oman. SMEs in Oman have grown from 32,441 in December 2018 to 44,197 at the end of May 2020. The growth of SME’s however slowed down during April and May 2020 as only 56 and 58 new SMEs were registered during the months, which we believe would be mainly because of lockdown during the period. Of the total SMES, majority are located in Muscat Governorate at 34 per cent, followed by 16 per cent in Al Batinah North and 13 per cent in Ad Dakhliyah. Of the total number of SMEs, 6 per cent are of Medium size in nature while the remaining 94 per cent are Small.