Business


All three sector indices decline



Muscat: THE MSM 30 index closed 1.43 per cent lower for the week ended November 22, at 5,555. All the three sector indices closed in the red led by the financial sector. Al Jazeera Steel Products disclosed that the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has determined that US industry has not been materially injured or threatened materially from import of circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe from Oman, India, the UAE and Vietnam.

As a result, the export of steel pipes by company to US will not attract any anti- dumping duty and countervailing duty. We have a bullish view on this stock Port Services Corporation has been granted extension of its concession agreement for managing and operating Port Sultan Qaboos for an interim period of one year from January 1, 2013 until December 31, 2013 on the same conditions as the current agreement. The stock currently offers a dividend yield of 9.7 per cent.

Al Hassan Engineering reported that its 49 per cent owned entity in Abu Dhabi, has received a conditional letter of intent for civil work on a new 400/220/33kV BAB2 Transco grid substation in Abu Dhabi from ALSTOM Abu Dhabi.  The project duration is 16 months starting November 2012 for an amount of Dh69.3 million.  Margins have been weak for the company year till date which resulted in a sharp drop in net profit.

GCC markets fall

Kuwait was the only GCC bourse to gain in the previous week while the Saudi index tumbled 3 per cent. The Middle East tension has affected sentiment in the regional markets as they underperformed global markets. Global markets mostly ended higher in the previous week as Greece is likely to receive its next instalment of aid from the IMF.

Etihad Etisalat announced distribution of one bonus share for every 10 shares, Cash dividend for the fourth quarter of 2012 will subsequently be paid on the new shares outstanding post the bonus issue. Record date will be announced later. The company is the leading mobile broadband operator in Saudi Arabia and has witnessed at least 20 per cent revenue growth over the last four years. The stock trades at 8.6 times its trailing twelve months earnings per share and offers a cash dividend yield of 5.6 per cent.

Gulf International Services reported securing a new contract by its subsidiary Gulf Drilling International with Dolphin Energy to provide lift boat services over a 16-month period, starting January 2013. The contract is valued at 124 million Qatari riyals and includes an option to extend the term of the contract for up to 8 additional months.

This is the first lift boat services contract secured by the company and represents an important breakthrough for the company in its pursuit of venturing into this complementary line of business. We have a buy rating on this stock.

Jarir Marketing disclosed plans to spend 120 million Saudi riyals to 150 million Saudi riyals a year to expand its number of stores by at least 70 per cent over the next five years. The company's management expects to have more than 55 stores by 2017 compared to 32 currently, which is likely to double its sales volume. The firm expects to open 80 per cent of the new stores in Saudi Arabia and the remaining in other GCC markets. The company already owns most of the real estate in the kingdom needed for this expansion.
 
Disclaimer: This column expresses only the views of the contributor and investing in stocks carries risk of financial loss for which the contributor is in no way liable.

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