Demand for blue chip stocks drives Muscat bourse recovery


20/03/2017 08:02 AST

Driven by buying in index heavyweights, the MSM30 Index gained 0.22 per cent to end at 5,680.55 points. The MSM Sharia Index ended at 847.80 points with a gain of 0.29 per cent. Bank Muscat was the most active in terms of volume as well as turnover. The top gainer was Bank Muscat, up by 1.38 per cent, while Oman & Emirates Holding was the top loser, down by 2.94 per cent.

As many as 603 trades were executed on Sunday, generating a turnover of OMR2.94 million with 8 million shares changing hands. Out of 39 traded securities, 8 advanced, 12 declined and 19 remained unchanged. Omani investors remained net buyers of OMR67,000 while GCC and Arab investors were net sellers of OMR66,000 followed by foreign investors for OMR1,000 worth of shares.

Financial Index was stable at 8,004.35 points, down by 0.01 per cent. Bank Muscat, Al Madina Takaful and National Bank of Oman increased by 1.38 per cent, 1.05 per cent and 0.41 per cent, respectively. Oman & Emirates Holding, Al Anwar Holding, Al Sharqia Investments, Taageer Finance and Bank Sohar declined by 2.94 per cent, 1 per cent, 0.81 per cent, 0.79 per cent and 0.68 per cent, respectively.

Industrial Index retreated 0.09 per cent to close at 7,876.82 points. Oman Cement, up by 1.22 per cent, was only sector gainer. Al Hassan Engineering, Oman Fisheries and Galfar Engineering declined by 2.04 per cent, 1.67 per cent and 1.18 per cent, respectively.

Services Index ended at 2,989.55 points, up by 0.03 per cent. Ooredoo Oman, Oman Investment and Finance, ACWA Power and Oman Telecommunications Company gained 1.38 per cent, 0.88 per cent, 0.54 per cent and 0.37 per cent, respectively. Al Batinah Power, Al Suwadi Power, Al Jazeera Services and Port Services declined by 1.58 per cent, 1.04 per cent, 1.04 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

Qatar bank

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) is in talks with banks about a potential international bond issue that will most likely be denominated in US dollars, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

If the deal goes ahead, CBQ would join a growing number of banks from the region tapping the international debt markets this year with the aim of improving capital reserves and boosting capital ratios to counter the impact of lower international oil prices.

CBQ, the Gulf state's third-largest bank by assets, is looking at a benchmark-sized transaction, which conventionally means upwards of $500 million, the sources said.

A US dollar-denominated bond issue is considered the most likely option, but the bank is also looking at issuing in Chinese renminbi, one of the sources said.

In March last year, CBQ got shareholder approval to issue bonds up to $1.5 billion under a euro medium-term note programme. This envisaged the possibility of issuing bonds denominated in a number of currencies including dollars, yen and Swiss francs. CBQ issued in June last year a $750 million five-year bond through its subsidiary CBQ Finance, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Bermuda and established to raise capital for the Qatari bank through bond sales.

That bond, arranged by Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, has a 3.25 per cent coupon and was yielding 3.32 per cent on Sunday, Thomson Reuters data showed. The debt was issued under an existing $5 billion euro medium-term note programme.

CBQ launched a five-year turnaround plan last November following five consecutive quarters of falling profits.

By applying tighter underwriting standards and higher diversification across sectors and countries, the bank’s plan was aimed at reducing its ratio of non-performing loans, and also at boosting earnings per share, return on equity, return on assets and Tier 1 capital.

Times of Oman
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