Muscat – Listed companies on the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) recorded a 24% year-on-year growth in total net profits for the third quarter of 2023, backed by healthy growth in the banking and utilities sector.
Total net profits for the listed companies in Oman grew to $584.6mn (approximately RO225mn) in the third quarter of this year, compared with $471.4mn (approximately RO182mn) in the third quarter of 2022, according to the GCC Corporate Earnings report released by Kuwait-based Kamco Investment.
Robust growth of power generation companies and banks mainly contributed to the overall year-on-year growth in aggregate net profits for the firms listed on the MSX.
The third-quarter earnings of the banking sector, the biggest sector in the MSX by market capitalisation, jumped by 18.1% to $303.5mn this year, compared to $256.9mn in the third quarter of 2022.
Utilities sector companies recorded the biggest growth of 131.7% in quarterly net profits. The sector reported the second-largest total net profits of $95.4mn during the third quarter of 2023 at the MSX, compared to $41.2mn in the corresponding period of 2022.
Net profit for Bank Muscat – the biggest financial institution in Oman – increased during the third quarter, setting the tone for the overall growth of profits in the banking sector. Bank Muscat posted the biggest profit within the banking sector during the third quarter of 2023 at $141.7mn, compared to $127.4mn during the corresponding period of 2022.
The combination of an increase in customer deposits, including Islamic customer deposits, and growth in interest and non-interest income, were the main drivers of Bank Muscat’s profits during the quarter, Kamco Investment said.
Sohar International Bank and National Bank of Oman followed with $47.4mn and $36.4mn in net profits during the third quarter of 2023.
The profit growth for the utilities sector came after two out of the seven companies in the sector reported a year-on-year increase in net earnings growth. Phoenix Power Company led the way in terms of total profits that reached $39mn in the third quarter of this year, up 2% year-on-year, followed closely by Al Suwadi Power Company and Al Batinah Power Company, which posted net profits that reached $23.2mn and $21.2mn, respectively.
Total net profits for the energy sector increased by 6.1% to $53.4mn during the third quarter of 2023, compared to $50.3mn in 2022. Newly listed OQ Gas Network reported the biggest third-quarter net profit among the companies in the energy sector after it recorded $30.5mn in net earnings during the quarter, compared to $29mn in the third quarter of 2022.
Total quarterly net profits for the telecom sector remained nearly unchanged at $51.2mn, compared to $51.1mn in the third quarter of 2022, witnessing a marginal 0.1% year-on-year growth. Furthermore, total net earnings for the diversified financial sector witnessed nearly a 50% drop in quarterly net earnings to reach $49.9mn this year, compared to $99.1mn during the third quarter of last year.
GCC earnings drop 14%
Quarterly profits reported by GCC-listed companies once again showed a year-on-year decline in profits during the third quarter of 2023, mainly led by a fall in energy and commodity prices, according to Kamco Investment.
Aggregate net profit for GCC-listed companies fell to $62.3bn during the third quarter of 2023, compared to $72.9bn during the same period of 2022, resulting in a double-digit year-on-year decline of 14.4%. Out of the 22 sectors in the region, profits for 12 sectors showed year-on-year declines, while 10 sectors showed higher profits.
At the country level, aggregate net profits for Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi showed double-digit declines against last year while Bahraini companies showed a decline of 8.3%. On the other hand, Kuwait showed the biggest year-on-year earnings growth of more than 40% during the third quarter of 2023, while Dubai and Oman aggregates showed equally healthy growth of 35.8% and 24%, respectively. Aggregate net profits for Qatari companies were almost flat with a marginal year-on-year growth of 0.3%.