Muscat, The value of trading at Muscat Securities Market (MSM) stood at RO626.3 million, a decline by 7.5% during the first nine months of 2018; compared to the corresponding period last year (RO677.2 million).

The number of securities traded increased by 2.5% to hit 3.264 billion securities compared to 3.183 billion securities during the corresponding period last year. The highest value of trading was recorded in May 2018 with RO154.9 million. The least value of trading was recorded in August 2018 with RO25.5 million.

During the first nine months of 2018, GCC stock markets including MSM were under pressures that led the indices to go downward. The downward movement affected the sentiments of investors and led the main index to lose 556 points by the end of September 2018. This decline is less at the first nine months of this year compared to last year when the index lost 645 points. At the end of September 2018, the market closed at 4543 points; a drop by 10.9% compared to 5099 points at the end of December 2017.

The index went up three times in 2018; the most notable of which was by 124 points in September 2018. The index went downward six times, the biggest of which was when it lost 235 points in July 2018.

MSM gross market capitalization stood at RO18,117.5 million by the end of September 2018; a growth by RO166.7 million compared to RO17.9 million at the end of September 2017. The upward movement was attributed to the growth in market capitalization of the Sukuk and securities market, which increased to RO3.1 billion by the end of September 2018; a growth by RO503.3 million compared to its level by the end of last year. The market capitalization for the closed joint stock companies, which are not traded at the market increased to RO7.4 billion; an increase by RO319 million compared to the end of 2017.

The total market capitalization of the joint stock companies by the end of September 2018 stood at RO7.5 billion compared to RO8.1 billion by the end of last year; a loss of more than RO655.6 million.

During last July 2018, the 57th issue of the government development bonds (GDB) worth of RO100 million was listed at MSM. The issue consists of 1 million bonds with a nominal value of RO100 each. The issue No. 58 of the government development bond worth of RO150 million was listed at MSM during September 2018. The issue includes 1.5 million bonds with a nominal value of RO100 each.

During this year, three companies were listed in MSM as joint stock companies. Muscat City Desalination Company whose capital was RO15.5 million offered 54.4 million shares for public subscription with a nominal value of 116 Baises per share.

During the first nine months of 2018, Arabia Falcon Insurance was transformed into a public joint stock company with a capital of RO10.3 million. The company was listed at the parallel market on 16 May 2018. Dhofar Generating Company with a capital of RO22.2 million was also listed in September 2018 after the company offered 40% of its shares for public subscription at 221 Baises per share.

On the other hand, Port Services Corporation exited MSM after initiating the liquidation decision, which was made on 1 January 2018. Oman Hotels and Tourism Company was also transformed from a public joint stock company into a closed joint stock company with a capital of RO6.9 million. National Pharmaceutical Company announced that it will transform from a public joint stock company to a closed joint stock company after receiving Capital Market Authority’s (CMA) initial approval for the move.

During the first nine months of 2018, Dhofar Insurance Company restructured its capital and National Securities Company SAOG changed its brand name to Celebrity National Financial Service Company after signing a restructuring agreement by which Celebrity Global General Trading Company acquired 51% of its capital.

As for mergers, Alizz Islamic Bank and Oman Arab Bank (OAB) expressed their desire to merger. National Bank of Oman (NBO) and Bank Dhofar said in two separate disclosures that they decided to initiate dialogue to consider the possibility of merging both entities.

Source: Oman News Agency