MSM30 closes slightly higher

Last week was short due to the Islamic and National Day holidays, which impacted trades. MSM30 closed the week slightly up by 0.06 per cent. The Financial Index closed up by 0.06 per cent while both the Services Index and the Industrial Index closed down by 0.22 per cent and 0.04 per cent respectively. The MSM Shariah Index also closed up by 0.15 per cent w-o-w.
An update list issued by Muscat Clearing & Depository Co SAOC related to investors’ ownership percentage in listed securities showed that power and insurance sectors dominate the top 10 companies in terms of non-Omani ownership with Muscat Desalination coming in first at 68.2 per cent.
In a move aimed at achieving economic savings and synergies, the merger of Orpic Oman and Oman Oil Company was approved. The merger will be carried out in several stages. The first phase will focus on integrating the lower level and preparing the merger plan, which is expected to be announced in the second quarter of 2019. The Group’s Chief Executive Officer has been appointed and will assume charge in December. According to Bloomberg, the merged company will have combined stakes in about 1.1m b/d of refining capacity in and outside Oman.
New vehicle registration fell by 19 per cent YoY during first eight months of 2018 to 44,387 compared to 54,615 in the same period last year. Average monthly registration of new vehicles dropped to 5,548 in 8M18 compared to 6,827 in the same period last year. We believe the new vehicle registration is low because of the interest rates, lower expats and changing in customers behaviours. With expectation of more rate hike, further impact on the vehicles sales might be seen.
Qatar Exchange topped the gainers within GCC region closing up by 1.12 per cent while Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was the biggest loser closing down by 1.4 per cent.
Listed cement companies within GCC markets which announced their results have shown severe decline in net earnings for 3Q’18 on annual basis. Factors behind this performance include tougher competition, lower demand, slowness in projects and government spending on lower oil prices beside the geopolitical factor which impacted many cement companies in Saudi market. The total net earnings stood at $22.5m in 3Q’18, down by 82.4 per cent YoY with notable pressures from Saudi and the UAE. Overall, Qatari cement companies saw the lowest decline in net earnings (32.4 per cent) followed by Oman (-39.6 per cent) then Kuwait (-55.6 per cent) while many companies in Saudi and the UAE posted losses.
Globally, Japan’s monthly balance of trade tumbled to a deficit of $3.97 bn in October as energy imports surge, according to a preliminary report by its Finance Ministry. Imports rose 19.9 per cent YoY close to triple September’s growth of 7 per cent besting a median forecast of 14.5 per cent from economists polled by Reuters. Unrefined oil was the biggest single contributor, jumping 33.7 per cent and national gas by 49.3 per cent while exports jumped only by 8.2 per cent in the same basis. (Courtesy: U-Capital)