Muscat: The MSM30 index continued its positive rally for the fourth day in a row and closed at 5587.78 points, up by 0.42 per cent. Bank Sohar remains to be the most active in terms of volume as well as turnover.
Dhofar Cattlefeed was the top gainer for the day and closed up by 3.76 per cent while Renaissance Services was the top loser for the day and closed down by 2.20 per cent.
A total number of 1923 trades were executed in yesterday's trading session generating turnover of RO16.95 million with over 102.13 million shares traded. Out of 49 traded stocks, 31 advanced, seven declined and 11remained unchanged. Omani investors switched to net buyers for RO780,000 while foreign investors switched to net sellers for RO772,000 followed by GCC and Arab investors for RO8,000 worth of shares.
Financial Sector Index was up by 0.94 per cent and closed at 6246.44 points. Bank Sohar, DIDIC, United Finance, BankDhofar and Taageer Finance increased by 3.75 per cent, 3.23 per cent, 3.05 per cent, 2.48 per cent and 2.29 per cent, respectively. Transgulf Holding, Al Anwar Holding, ONIC Holding and Bank Muscat declined by 1.22 per cent, 0.78 per cent, 0.38 per cent, 0.18 per cent, respectively.
The Industrial Sector Index was up by 0.62 per cent and closed at 7243.65 points. Dhofar Cattlefeed, Salalah Mills, Oman Flour Mills, Oman Ceramic and Raysut Cement increased by 3.76 per cent, 1.78 per cent, 1.48 per cent, 1.19 per cent and 0.87 per cent, respectively.
Construction Materials Industries was the only loser in the sector and was down by 1.85 per cent to close at RO0.053.
Services Sector Index closed at 2814.89 points, down by 0.11 per cent. Port Service Corp, Sohar Power, OIFC, Oman Telecom and Al Jazeira Services increased by 1.15 per cent, 0.57 per cent, 0.55 per cent, 0.35 per cent and 0.27 per cent, respectively. Renaissance Service and Nawras declined by 2.20 per cent and 1.26 per cent, respectively.
First Gulf climbs
First Gulf Bank PJSC climbed to the highest level in nine months after EFG-Hermes Holding SAE raised the lender's price estimate and said loan growth in 2013 would be the strongest in the United Arab Emirates.
Shares of the bank, which is controlled by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, rose 1.4 per cent to 10.75 dirhams, the highest since March 4, at the close in Abu Dhabi.
The benchmark ADX General Index was little changed. Shares of First Gulf Bank have rallied 40 percent this year compared with an 11.5 per cent advance for the Abu Dhabi gauge.
FGB may increase lending by 10 per cent next year, EFG- Hermes, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, said in a report on Tuesday, raising the bank's price estimate 2.3 per cent to 13.20 dirhams. FGB's loans grew 12.2 per cent in the third quarter compared with an annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent for banks that EFG-Hermes cover in the UAE.
"FGB's focused effort on lending to" government-related entities "should help support above-sector average growth," EFG-Hermes analysts Murad Ansari and Shabbir Malik wrote. "The selective recovery in Dubai's real estate market is also positive for property portfolio."
FGB's profit may grow 13 per cent next year to 4.45 billion dirhams, according to the mean estimate of 10 analysts. Sixteen analysts recommend investors buy the shares, and one has a hold rating.