Bahrain Bourse snaps four-month bull run

MANAMA: Ending a four-month bullish streak, Bahrain Bourse (BHB) posted the second-worst performance in the GCC last month.

A report released yesterday by Kuwait-based Kamco Invest notes the Bahrain All-Share Index dipped 0.8 per cent during April 2022 to close at 2,056.15 points.

Trading activity was mixed with an increase volume traded but a decline in monthly value traded.

Volume traded was at a five-month high at 73.8 million shares in April 2022 as compared to 24m shares traded during March 2022.

Value traded remained elevated but declined month-on-month to BD40.7m as compared to BD71.4m in March 2022.

GFH Financial Group topped the list in terms of monthly volumes traded on the bourse with 24.4m shares traded during April followed by Ahli United Bank and Al Salam Bank-Bahrain which saw share trades of 17.4m and 8.8m respectively.

In terms of monthly value traded, Ahli United Bank topped the table logging BD17.7m worth of shares changing hands during the month followed by GFH Financial Group and Alba with BD7.9m and BD7.25m shares traded respectively.

In terms of sectoral performance, the materials index, which only has one constituent company (Alba), together with the communications services index reported the biggest monthly decline of 4.8pc each.

Despite the monthly share decrease, Alba recently achieved the status of becoming the first Bahraini company to successfully refinance its sustainability-linked loan of $1.247 billion for the line 6 expansion project.

The senior-unsecured loan is both conventional and Islamic as it carries an interest margin of 235 points per annum.

The real estate index saw the second biggest monthly fall of 4.1pc to 3070.9 points after shares of Seef Properties declined by 5.6pc during April.

On the other hand, the consumer discretionary indices registered was the biggest gainer last month with a growth of 1.6pc.

The monthly stock performance chart was topped by Al Baraka Banking Group which recorded a monthly return of 15.8pc followed by GFH Financial Group and Bahrain Commercial Facilities with gains of 5.2pc and 3.1pc, respectively.

The monthly decliners list was led by Solidarity Bahrain with a slump of 19.5pc during April 2022 followed by Bahrain Cinema and Trafco Group with drops of 8.2pc and 6.8pc, respectively.

In economic news, in its latest Regional Economic Outlook, the IMF has forecast 3.3pc economic expansion for Bahrain in 2022 followed by a slightly lower growth of 3pc in 2023.

The IMF expects growth in the kingdom to be driven mainly by the non-oil sector which it projects growing at 4pc in 2022 and 3.7pc in 2023.

Furthermore, the Bahrain Chamber’s latest economic report, ‘Overview of the Local Economy – Q1 2022’, listed finance, insurance and oil and gas as the top three drivers of growth.

Data also shows that Bahrain’s top three growing sectors included communications, transport and consumer discretionary (hotels and tourism).

Growth in the consumer discretionary sector is expected to be driven by tourism that registered a revenue growth of 161pc during 2021.

Meanwhile, the GCC aggregate index once again reported gains last month backed by solid earnings reported by large-cap stocks on the exchange, especially banks.

Nevertheless, monthly gain decelerated slightly during April 2022 to 3.3pc for the aggregate MSCI GCC Index, the smallest monthly gain after five consecutive months of growth.

Dubai was the top performing market in the GCC during the month with a monthly gain of 5.5% followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with gains of 4.9% and 2.6%, respectively. In terms of YTD2022 performance, Saudi Arabia regained the top spot with a gain of 21.7%.

On the sectoral front, however, the monthly performance was not broadly positive.

The performance was almost equally split between gainers and losers, but the monthly gain was mainly led by positive performance of large-cap sectors like banks, energy and real estate.

These gains more than offset a drop mainly in insurance, consumer durables and pharma indices.

Banks also outperformed since the start of the year with a gain of 26.5pc followed by healthcare and capital goods with gains of 23.2pc and 21.8pc, respectively.

Globally, markets witnessed a steep correction as a result of the looming rate hike decision.

Crude oil traded within a tight range as supply threat from actions against Russia were countered by demand decline due to lockdowns in China.




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