MSM index ends lower



Muscat: The MSM30 index ended on a negative note to close at 5855.98 points, down by 0.11 per cent. Al Anwar Holding was the most active in terms of volume, while Bank Muscat in terms of turnover. United Finance was the top gainer and closed up by 1.16 per cent, while Financial Services lost the most and closed down by 3.03 per cent.

A total number of 1,395 trades were executed in yesterday's trading session generating turnover of OMR6.33 million with over 20.63 million shares traded. Out of 53 traded stocks, 10 advanced, 22 declined and 21 remained unchanged. At the session close, foreign investors switched to net buyers for OMR763,000 while Omani investors switched to net sellers for OMR693,000 followed by GCC & Arab investors for OMR70,000 worth shares.
Financial Sector Index was down by 0.49 per cent and closed at 6938.44 points.

United Finance and HSBC Bank Oman increased by 1.16 per cent and 0.51 per cent respectively. Financial Services, Al Anwar Holding, Ominvest, DBIH and Oman United Insurance declined by 3.03 per cent, 2.55 per cent, 2.01 per cent, 1.75 per cent and 1.40 per cent respectively.

The Industrial Sector Index remains unchanged and closed at 7679.29 points. Galfar Engineering, Oman Cement, Oman Cables and Raysut Cement increased by 0.5 8 per cent, 0.47 per cent, 0.45 per cent and 0.28 per cent respectively. Al Hassan Engineering, National Aluminium Products, Al Anwar Ceramic and Dhofar Cattlefeed declined by 1.19 per cent, 0.46 per cent, 0.25 per cent and 1.23 per cent respectively.

Services Sector Index closed at 2975.74 points, up by 0.19 per cent. SMN Power Holding, Renaissance Services, Port Service Corporation and OIFC increased by 1.03 per cent, 1.01 per cent, 0.55 per cent and 0.43 per cent respectively. Majan College and Oman Telecom declined by 0.65 per cent and 0.49 per cent respectively.

Air Arabia shares up
Air Arabia rose to the highest level in almost three years on bets improved full-year profit may prompt the Middle East's biggest no-frills airline to pay a bigger dividend.
Shares of the carrier rose 3.3 per cent to 93 fils, the strongest since May 2010, on volume of almost five times the three-month daily average, at the close in Dubai.

The stock was the biggest gainer and most traded on Dubai's benchmark DFM General Index, which fell 0.1 per cent. Air Arabia, which competes with Dubai state-owned FlyDubai, said last week 2012 passengers rose 13 per cent to a record 5.3 million.

The airline started flights to nine new destinations from its hub in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, including Basra and Erbil in Iraq, and Ufa and Kazan in Russia last year. Its 2012 profit probably jumped 50 per cent, according to the average estimate of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

"Investors are happy with expected results for 2012 and anticipate the company to increase cash dividends," said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities.
"The outlook is still positive with further revenue growth from overseas expansion and improved economic growth."

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