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MSM index ends higher



Muscat: The MSM30 index ended on a positive note and closed at 5837.16 points, up by 0.13 per cent. Bank Sohar was the most active in terms of volume as well as turnover. Bank Sohar was the top gainer for the day and closed up by 1.71 per cent, while Salalah Port Services was the top loser for the day and closed down by 2 per cent.

A total number of 1,225 trades were executed in yesterday's trading session generating turnover of OMR4.65 million with over 19.96 million shares traded. Out of 49 traded stocks, 14 advanced, 16 declined and 19 remained unchanged. At the session close, foreign investors were net buyers for OMR535,000, while Omani investors were net sellers for OMR360,000 followed by GCC & Arab investors for OMR175,000 worth of shares.

Financial Sector Index closed at 6832.43 points, increased by 0.16 per cent. Bank Sohar, Ominvest, Ahli Bank and Bank Dhofar increased by 1.71 per cent, 0.80 per cent, 0.54 per cent and 0.54 per cent respectively. Gulf Investment Services, Oman & Emirates, Bank Nizwa, Global Financial Investment and Al Sharqia Investment declined by 1.98 per cent, 1.89 per cent, 1.74 per cent, 0.98 per cent and 0.94 per cent respectively.

The Industrial Sector Index was up by 0.19 per cent and closed at 7615.81 points. Oman Cables, ASaffa Foods, Oman Cement, Oman Flour Mills and Oman Chlorine increased by 1.06 per cent, 0.87 per cent, 0.78 per cent, 0.60 per cent and 0.18 per cent respectively. Al Hassan Engineering, Dhofar Cattlefeed, Voltamp Energy, Oman Fisheries and Al Anwar Ceramic declined by 1.85 per cent, 1.67 per cent, 1.66 per cent, 0.95 per cent and 0.50 per cent respectively.

Services Sector Index closed at 2961.89 points, was up by 0.04 per cent. Shell Oman Marketing, Al Jazeira Services, OIFC, Al Maha Marketing and Oman Oil Marketing increased by 0.84 per cent, 0.53 per cent, 0.44 per cent, 0.36 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively. Salalah Port Services, Renaissance Services, Nawras, Oman Telecom and Sohar Power declined by 2 per cent, 0.60 per cent, 0.42 per cent, 0.35 per cent and 0.06 per cent respectively.

Du to raise loans
Dubai-based phone company Du is raising loans at the fastest pace since 2008 as the operator enhances its network and sends jobs abroad, while facing higher government royalties. The company, whose shareholders include United Arab Emirates state funds, raised three loans valued at $700 million since mid-December, according to data. That's up from $220 million in 2011 and $462 million in 2010. Du paid between 175 basis points and 185 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate for two of the loans, below the 3.53 percent average margin on borrowings of global phone companies since the start of 2012, the data show.

Du's earnings may come under pressure after the UAE government last month altered royalty fees of the country's two phone operators. Mobile phone penetration in the nation of 8.2 million was 197 per cent in 2010, according to the communications regulator. Du, which wholly relies on its home market for sales, is moving some information technology jobs to boost profitability, the chief executive said on Monday.

"Du is trying to expand its product line via data services as its mobile subscriber growth is saturated and in order to compensate for the loss," Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities, said.

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