A good month

The MSM 30 Index moved up 11.3 per cent in the last trailing one month

April has been a good month for equities globally. All the key developed as well as emerging markets are up on month to date basis.

However, on a year to date basis emerging markets have outperformed developed markets in absolute terms and in terms of breadth as well.

The MSM 30 Index moved up 11.3 per cent in the last trailing one month led by 11.7 per cent gain in the banking sector index, 12.3 per cent gain in the industrial sector and 6.8 per cent gain in the services sector. Volatility in the Omantel share price, which touched a low of RO1.130 before bouncing back to RO1.45 levels, led to relatively lower performance of the service sector index.

Second rung stocks like ONIC as well as holding companies have dominated the top gainers chart in the last one-month. The index trades at 9.5x 2008 earnings.

Non-Omanis were net sellers to the tune of RO1.8mn in March 2009 compared to RO13.6mn in February 2009. This month has been neutral so far on this front. GCC/Arab buying turned positive for the first time in the last nine months in March 2009. In April so far this category is a net buyer but the same has been set off by non-GCC/Arab category that has been selling.

Data points from MONE

Among the key data points from the Ministry of National Economy's March monthly, the expatriate labour flow and private sector Omani employment data still indicates a healthy job creation rate of 8-10 per cent. The public finance numbers updated for the full year of 2008 indicate a slow down in the fourth quarter. As a result the budgeted expenditure numbers for 2009 are 0.3 per cent higher than the actual government spending for 2008. The overspending compared to the budget was the lowest for 2008 at 10 per cent compared to previous four years.

March 17 to April 17

Top Gainers Price MthChg%
Onic.Holding 0.334 95
Oman Emirates 0.138 47
Gulf Inv Ser 0.111 39
Oman Inv and Fin 0.174 38
Al Anwar Holding 0.181 36
Top Losers Price Mth chg%
Abrasives Manufacturers 0.15 -33
Muscat Thread Mills 0.149 -26
Port Service Corp. 0.413 -19
Dhofar Cattlefield 0.377 -18
Oman Textile holding 0.483 -18
Top Volume Leaders Price volume
BankMuscat 0.652 32.1
Galfar Engineering 0.596 25.1
Omantel 1.389 16.0
Renaissance Services 0.521 14.5
Oman International Bank 0.287 7.6
Top value leaders Price value
BankMuscat 0.652 56.0
Galfar Engineering 0.596 46.7
Al Jazeira Services 0.080 41.6
Al Anwar Holding 0.181 36.3
Bank Sohar 0.127 32.2
A good month
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