MSM trading volume exceeds RO 300 million

MUSCAT: The value of trading at Muscat Securities Market (MSM) rose by 14 per cent during the first quarter of 2017 to RO 300.7 million, compared to RO 263.7 million in 2017. The index of February 2017 registered the best value of trading by RO 116 million while January index registered the lowest value by RO 77.4 million. Trading value during March 2017 registered RO 107.3 million.
Although MSM witnessed an active trading during the 1st quarter this year benefiting from the high demand for shares and striking some private deals, the general index lost 232 points, comprising a decline in the performance compared to the same period last year as it added 61 points in 2016. However, the index in the first quarter of 2017 was higher than the first quarter of 2016, as it closed at the end of March 2017 at 5,550 points, compared to 5,467 points in March 2016.
Domestic purchases in the first quarter of 2017 increased to RO 265.2 million, comprising 88.2 per cent of the total value of trading, compared to sales of RO 237.2 million.
MSM registered gains in the market value during the first quarter of 2017 estimated at RO 358.7 million, comprising a rise to reach RO 17,646.8 million, compared to RO 17,288.1 million at the end of December 2016.
The foreign ownership fell to 27.5 per cent at the end of the first quarter 2017, compared to 30.1 per cent at the end of March 2016.
Meanwhile, the MSM listed joint stock companies whose financial year ended last December, announced that they will distribute RO 417.6 million dividends to their shareholders. These dividends are expected to increase during the remainder months of this year as some other companies whose financial year end in March, June and August have announced their dividends.
The cash dividends approved by the General Assemblies’ annual meetings that were held last March stood at about RO 360 million. Still, a number of companies announced that they will distribute interim cash dividends in the coming months.