Oman bourse sees trading value rising 38 per cent

MUSCAT - The value of stocks traded on the Oman's Muscat Securities Market (MSM) increased by 38 per cent to 134.6 million rials in the first six months of 2003 compared to 97.2 million rials in the same period last year driven by high investor confidence.

By From Our Special Correspondent

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Published: Sun 3 Aug 2003, 12:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 7:45 PM

A total of 109 million shares exchanged hands in the first half of this year up from 86.4 million shares in the first six months of 2002.

Traders said that the market is more buoyant this year than last year mainly because investors expect better corporate profits in 2003.

"Investor confidence is high this year on speculation of bigger profits of listed companies. Abundance in liquidity is another factor that has driven the market up. Small investors have little options but to put their money in stocks," one trader said.

Investors said that record low interest deposit rates and longer bond commitment made share buying an attractive option.

"You get almost nothing from banks and the bonds issue tie your money for a long time. So the MSM remains the favourite opportunity for most small investors speculating for high company dividends," an investor said.

The MSM market capitalisation also increased by 15 per cent to 1.7 billion rials in June 2003 compared to 1.48 billion rials in the same month last year. The index climbed by 34 per cent to 238 points during the first half of 2003 from 178 points in the previous year.

The banking and financial sector dominated trading with 55 per cent of the market capitalisation up to June this year followed by bonds with 27 per cent and the services sector with 18 per cent.

Analysts expected the bourse to maintain its bullish trend for the rest of the year.

"I don't see the index diving from this point onward unless we see disastrous financial results in the third quarter, which highly unlikely since we have already seen some good results coming out for the first half," a market analyst said.

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