News Column

Muscat Securities Market Index ends higher

July 6, 2014


Muscat:Muscat Securities Market (MSM) general index 30 yesterday added 25.85 points, registering a rise by 0.37 per cent to close at 7079.12 points.

The trading value yesterday stood at OMR5.90 million, comprising a decline by 62.73 per cent compared to the last session, which stood at OMR15.82 million.

The report released by MSM pointed out that the market capitalisation rose by 0.41 per cent to reach about OMR15.04 billion.

The report added that the value of shares bought by non-Omani investors reached OMR300,000) while the value of shares sold by non-Omani investors reached OMR823,000. The net non-Omani investment fell by 8.86 per cent to OMR523,000.

Dubai shares climb

Dubai stocks rose, led by Arabtec Holding, as state backing for the construction company revived investor confidence in a market that tumbled more than 22 per cent last month. Abu Dhabi's index also advanced.

The DFM General Index gained for a fourth day, rising 4.4 per cent to 4,593.57, the highest close since June 15.

Arabtec, the United Arab Emirates' biggest listed builder, rallied 15 per cent to the strongest finish in more than two weeks, bringing its advance in the past four days to 55 per cent.

Union Properties was the most traded stock in the gauge, adding 11 per cent. Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index climbed 1.7 per cent to 4,849.47.

Khadem Al Qubaisi, the chairman of Abu Dhabi state-run Aabar Investments, Arabtec's second-biggest shareholder, said last week at a press conference the company may increase its stake in the builder.

Aabar last month cut its holding in Arabtec to about 19 per cent from almost 22 per cent, stoking speculation the builder was losing government backing. Qubaisi said the sale was "misunderstood" by investors.

Market volatility

The UAE's market regulator, the Securities & Commodities Authority, is investigating recent volatility, it said last week. Dubai's index entered a bear market on June 23, three weeks after the country's exchanges, along with Qatar's, began trading as emerging markets following an MSCI upgrade.

Dubai's gauge more than doubled almost a year after the upgrade was announced, as investors bet the change would lure investors managing about $8 trillion in assets.

"This volatility in the market is not favoring investors," Waleed Al Khateeb, Dubai-based senior finance manager at Daman Securities, said by telephone. The market is "too aggressive" at the moment and it has to stabilise at current levels, he said.

The DFM General Index's estimated price-to-earnings ratio climbed to 19 in May, compared with almost 11 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

It closed at 15.4 times yesterday. The UAE's central bank on June 8 warned that the country's real estate market may be overheating, spurring the index's first quarterly retreat since the three months ended June 2012.

Arabtec, which helped build the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, tumbled 65 per cent from its May 14 peak through to the end of June. In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawal All Share Index climbed 0.6 per cent to 9,744.53 at 1:52pm in Riyadh. Qatar's QE Index declined 0.4 per cent and the Bahrain Index retreated 0.1 per cent.

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Source: Times of Oman

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