Business


Foreign investors become major buyers on MSM


Omani institutional investors were major buyers last year with OMR46 million of net buying, while individual investors’ net selling was OMR72 million. — Times file picture

Muscat: Foreign investors were net buyers on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), with a net investment of OMR56 million, in the just concluded year. This is against a net selling of OMR9 million worth net selling in 2012, according to a detailed study on MSM trading conducted by the United Securities.

United Securities said that GCC and Arabs investors remained major net sellers on the local bourse with OMR29 million worth of shares, followed by Omani investors with OMR27 million net selling.

"The proportion of institutions and individuals investment has witnessed higher churn with Omani investors being on the forefront for a long term hold strategy and non-Omani investors who are focused on mix of medium term hold based strategy," the report added.

Omani investors
The report also noted that Omani institutional investors were major buyers last year with OMR46 million of net buying, while individual investors' net selling was OMR72 million. Interestingly, Omani investors entered the market with large proportion of investments to the tune of OMR1.8 billion last year compared to OMR850 million in the previous year.

Institutional investors
Foreign investors' share in total market turnover has doubled to OMR200 million with majority support coming from institutional investors who had a net buying of OMR66 million, while individual foreign investors remained net sellers with OMR9 million worth of shares.

Triple digit growth
The MSM witnessed triple digit growth in volume and turnover; a revival sign after its remarkable performance way back in 2009. The strong support from regulators through various initiatives has led to a favourable investment climate, which has strengthened investor confidence in the local bourse. A classical repercussion of the same is the triple digit growth in retail investor turnover - from OMR346 million in 2012 to OMR903 million in 2013. "The investor enthusiasm was reflected in widely improved market activity where market turnover doubled during 2013 to OMR2.2 billion nearing the 2009 highs. The flurry of IPO's in 2014 is likely to add flair for retail participation which we see as a healthy proposition in any equity markets, though in 2013; IPO and secondary issuances created a meager turnover of OMR68 million."

MSM's total turnover grew by 112 per cent to OMR2.25 billion in 2013 from OMR1.06 billion in the previous year, nearing the peak of OMR2.28 billion in 2009.

"The average daily turnover of MSM doubled to OMR9.5 million in 2013 from OMR4.28 million in 2012."

The total volumes increased by 89 per cent to 8.16 billion shares from 4.32 billion shares in 2012 upon high volumes and block deals such as OIFC, ONIC Holding, Bank Sohar, Global Financial and GIS.

The daily average trading volume spiked to 33.3 million shares in 2013 from 17.42 million shares in 2012.

Oman equities witnessed fundamental changes leading to a market return of 18.6 per cent last year.

"We believe the stock rally in 2013 was driven by fundamental factors supported by positive performance across most of the global equity markets with the exception of few emerging market equities."

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