Muscat: Oman's stock market concluded this week with a negative performance, breaking a four-week streak of positive results, according to an analyst.
“The main index declined by 1.37 percent, and both the volume and values of shares traded saw a decrease compared to the previous week,” said Ahmed Negm, Head of Market Research Mena at XS.com.
“This year's price movements exhibited continuous uncertainty, lacking a clear direction, a contrast to the movements observed over the past two years, while the yearly performance remains in negative territory,” he added.
The downturn affected all three key sectors of the market. The financial sector experienced a 1.26 percent loss. Leading this decline were National Bank Oman, down by 3.51 percent, Ominvest, which fell by 2.13 percent, and Bank Muscat, the most traded stock in terms of value and volume, decreasing by 0.37 percent.
The industrial sector index recorded the second-worst performance with a 0.83 percent fall. Oman Fisheries stood out as the worst performer in the sector and across the entire market, plunging by 10 percent, while Raysut Cement decreased by 4.35 percent. The services sector followed suit as well, declining by 0.76 percent, with Salalah Port Services and Sembcorp Salalah dropping by 9.79 percent and 5.26 percent, respectively. Ooredoo also experienced a downturn, falling by 3.53 percent.
“Oman stock market’s direction aligns with the broader pattern observed in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, which was predominantly negative,” said Ahmed Negm. This ongoing downturn follows the continuous decline in energy prices, as investors remain worried about sluggish demand and economic slowdowns in key markets like the US and China. Additionally, declining energy prices could affect local economies.
Nevertheless, Moody upgraded Oman's long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Ba1, with a stable outlook, thanks to positive developments in Oman's debt management. “The upgrade could bolster investors’ confidence and could help attract foreign investment and boost stock market activity,” said Ahmed Negm.
“The government's efficient fiscal management, along with its dedication to debt reduction could strengthen economic stability. Moreover, ongoing reforms aimed at economic diversification are creating a more inviting environment for investors,” he further added.