Wednesday, November 29
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MSX index gains 13% in 2021, but lags behind other GCC markets

2 Jan 2022 MSX board of directors holds first meet of 2022 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat –The Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) waved goodbye to 2021 with nearly 13 per cent annual gains, recording its first positive yearly performance since 2016.

The benchmark MSX30 index finished 2021 up by 12.87 per cent at 4,129.54 points. Amongst the sub-indices, Industrial index gained the most, closing up by 41.45 per cent for the year. Financial index rose 16.4 per cent and ‎Services index closed up by 1.82 per cent. The MSX Shariah ‎index ended the year up by 1.56 per cent.

Total market turnover of MSX rose to RO818mn during 2021, a sharp increase of 85.5 per cent compared with RO441mn turnover recorded in 2020. The MSX’s total market capitalization in 2021 increased by 9.1 per cent to around RO22.09bn compared with RO20.2bn a year earlier.

‘The MSX30 index closed in the positive territory after having fallen for four consecutive years, from 2017 through to 2020. As is the case ‎with its Gulf peers, Oman’s economic prospects are closely dependent on oil price movements, and this ‎correlation is also visible in the country’s stock market performance,’ Ubhar Capital said in its MSX Yearly Report published on Sunday.

All the GCC markets ended in the green territory for 2021 on year-on-year basis. Oman’s MSX posted relatively lower gains than all other GCC markets except for Qatar.

Within the GCC markets, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange gained the most, at 68.23 per cent during 2021, distantly followed by the Saudi Stock Market which rose by 29.83 per cent. Dubai Financial Market gained 28.25 per cent, Kuwait Stock Exchange gained 26.99 per cent, Bahrain bourse rose 20.64 per cent, and Qatar Stock Exchange recorded 11.4 per cent increase during the year.

‘A pickup in the economic activity has positively impacted businesses and MSX-listed ‎companies have registered an year-on-year increase of 5 per cent in their net profits during the first nine months of 2021, largely supported by financial and industrial sectors. These developments ‎have resulted in the appreciation of the MSX30 index which rose 12.87 per cent during the year,’ Ubhar Capital said.

During 2021, the Muscat Stock Exchange witnessed several fluctuations, in addition to several events during the last few months, including economic and geopolitical events affected by the fluctuations in oil prices.

Market outlook positive for 2022

In 2022, the Muscat Stock Exchange is expected to continue moving in an upward trajectory, given the ‎expectations that Oman’s economy will improve further this year, Ubhar Capital noted.

The International Monetary Fund has ‎forecasted Oman’s real GDP to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2022 against an expected 2.5 per cent growth in 2021.

‘Continued opening of the ‎economy, rising vaccination coverage, and economic stimulus and initiatives undertaken by the government in the recent ‎past are expected to lead to an acceleration in the economic activity,’ Ubhar Capital said.

It noted that the MSX30 index will continue to stabilize in the first half of 2022 at the level of 4,000 points, technically exposing the market for corrective periods.

‘In 2022, especially in the first half, we expect the main index to remain at 4,130 level (its first resistance). Once the index breaks this level, it will face the second resistance level at 4,300 points,’ the report added.

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