Bahrain Bourse posts biggest gain in GCC

The Bahrain Bourse All Share Index recorded the biggest gain in the GCC during May 2023, rising for the second consecutive month with a growth of 3.1 per cent.

This was the fourth monthly increase for the benchmark in the first five months of the year, says Kuwait-based Kamco in its analysis of the regional equity markets.

The uptick in the kingdom and Dubai helped to partially offset the overall bearish sentiment in the GCC, it adds.

In terms of sectoral performance, four out of the seven indices recorded gains last month.

The communications services index registered a 10.6pc gain, followed by the materials index (6.7pc), and the financials index (1.9pc).

Batelco, whose shares gained 11.5pc during the month, was the main driver of the surge in the communications services index.

The company has recently signed partnerships with the Telecommunications and Transportation Ministry and Bahrain Public Transport Company to provide a new channel for recharging Go cards.

Bullishness in the materials index was mainly due to the performance of Alba, whose shares gained 6.7pc during the month.

Alba has recently been strengthening its ties with Egypt’s aluminium sector.

The gain in the financials index was driven by the performance of companies such as Esterad Investment Company and Al Salam Bank Bahrain, whose shares climbed 16.8pc and 9.1pc, respectively.

In terms of share price performance, Nass Corp topped the list of gainers with a 38.9pc share price rise during May 2023, followed by Esterad Investments (up 16.8pc) and Batelco (up 11.5pc).

Esterad Investments reported Q1-2023 net profits of BD0.36m, 45pc higher than the same period last year, due to growth of its trading portfolio.

On the decliners side, APM Terminals Bahrain came in first recording an 11pc share price drop during the month followed by Bank ABC and Bahrain Flour Mills that saw their share price drop by 7.7pc and 6.4pc, respectively.

Trading activity on the exchange increased during May 2023, signalling a turn-around from the pullback during April 2023.

Total volume traded on Bahrain Bourse jumped by 35.1pc last month to 79.2m as compared to 58.7m in April 2023.

Moreover, total value traded on the exchange saw a surge of 148pc to BD29.7m in May 2023 as compared to BD12m during April 2023.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain topped the monthly volumes chart with 31.2m shares changing hands followed by Alba and GFH Financial Group at 14.2m and 9.6m shares, respectively.

On the monthly value traded chart, Alba was the topper with BD15.1m worth of transactions last month followed by Al Salam Bank Bahrain and Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain which witnessed BD4.3m and BD3.5m in shares trade value, respectively.

Looking at the region as a whole, the aggregate GCC index snapped a two-month gaining streak to post a decline during May 2023 mainly led by the reversal in large cap sectors like materials, banks, energy and telecom.

The MSCI GCC index dropped by 4.1pc during the month reflecting the downturn in most markets in the region.

Kuwait’s All Share Market Index reported the biggest decline in May 2023, falling 4.8pc followed by Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia with drops of 3.9pc and 2.6pc, respectively.

The monthly decline once again pulled the MSCI GCC index in the red in terms of YTD-2023 returns that stood at negative 2.4pc.

A look at the sector performance chart for the month shows declines in large-cap sectors like materials (down 3.7pc), banks (down 3.3pc), energy (down 3.1pc) and telecom (down 3.4pc) that were partially offset by gains in pharma and biotech (up 48.6pc) and insurance (up 5.8pc).

However, in terms of YTD-2023 performance, most of the sectors were in the green while banks and capital goods were the only underperformers with declines of 4.1pc and 7.1pc, respectively.





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