Muscat Stock Exchange index records its best level in 5 months


Muscat: The main index of the Muscat Stock Exchange last week witnessed its best level in 5 months and closed at 4785 points, rising 8 points, thus recording its best level since last October 12.

The financial sector index recorded the highest gains, rising by 33 points, the services sector index rose by 22 points, while the Sharia index fell by about two points, and the industrial sector index recorded losses of about 146 points, with the shares of a number of industrial companies declining, most notably the Oman Cement stock, which declined last week by 11.9 percent and closed at 502 baisas after rising over the past weeks when the company announced that it intends to distribute cash dividends of about 121 percent, or 121 baisas per share.

The company’s annual ordinary general assembly will discuss this proposal during its meeting on March 25 of this year. Investors’ interest in buying increased the Muscat Stock Exchange’s gains, with the market value of securities listed on the stock exchange rising at the end of last week to 24 billion and 159 million Omani riyals, recording weekly gains of 76.2 million Omani riyals, benefiting from investors’ interest in buying and the rise in stock prices.

Last week, the prices of 35 securities rose compared to 34 securities whose prices declined, and 12 securities stabilized at their previous levels. Barka Water and Power shares recorded the highest increase, rising by 35 percent and closing at 88 baisas, and SNN Power Holding shares rose by 29 percent and closed at 249 baisas.

Al Hassan Engineering shares rose to 11 baisas, an increase of 10 percent, Al Anwar Investments shares rose by 6.2 percent and closed at 85 baisas, and National Bank of Oman shares rose to 275 baisas, an increase of 5.7 percent. Oman Cement stock came at the top of the losing stocks, declining by 11.9 percent and closing at 502 baisas, Gulf International Chemicals stock fell to 90 baisas, down 10 percent, National Mineral Water stock also fell by 10 percent and closed at 45 baisas, and Salalah Mills stock fell to 475 baisas. A baisa fell by 9.8 percent, and Muscat Thread Mills shares fell by 9 percent and closed at 60 baisas.

The trading value declined last week to about 19.8 million Omani riyals, compared to 21.4 million Omani riyals in the previous week, recording a decline of 7.8 percent, and the number of transactions executed last week decreased to 6,148 deals compared to 7,983 deals in the previous week. SMN Power Holding Company topped the most traded companies in terms of trading value after witnessing trades worth two million and 307 thousand Omani riyals, representing 11.6 percent of the total trading value. Bank Muscat came in second place after witnessing trades worth two million and 127 thousand Omani riyals. OQ Gas Networks ranked third with trades worth one million and 543 thousand Omani riyals, representing 7.8 percent of the total trading value.

From corporate news: This week, 9 public joint stock companies listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange are considering the recommendations of their boards of directors to distribute dividends to their shareholders. They are: Gulf Mushroom Production Company, which on March 17 is considering distributing cash dividends of 15 percent, or 15 baisas per share, and on March 18, Oman Chrome Company is considering distributing cash dividends of 10 percent, and OQ Gas Networks Company is also discussing distributing cash dividends of 2.54 percent. On March 19, the National Industrial Detergents Company will hold its annual ordinary general assembly meeting, during which it will discuss distributing cash dividends of 25 percent. On the same day, Ooredoo shareholders will discuss distributing cash dividends of 14.7 percent. On March 20, the Pearl Real Estate Investment Fund will discuss distributing cash dividends. By 4.5 percent, and on March 21, the Oman Cable Industry Company is considering distributing cash dividends of 85 percent, or 85 baisas per share. Gulf Hotels Company – Oman and Salalah Port Services Company are also considering distributing cash dividends of 10 percent.

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