Bahrain stocks second best in GCC last month

MANAMA: The Bahrain Bourse (BHB) was the second-best performing market in the GCC last month continuing gains from August 2020.

The September review of regional stock markets by Kuwait-based Kamco Invest found BHB logged month-on-month (MoM) gains of 3.9 per cent from August when it saw a MoM jump of 7pc.

The index closed last month at 1434.49 points, even as sectoral performance was mixed.

The top performing sectors for September were services (up 8pc), commercial banks (up 4.7pc) and industrials (up 3.8pc).

On the flip side, hotels and tourism was the only sector to close in the red with declines of 8.3pc MoM.

The services index outperformed primarily due to double digit gains witnessed in the shares of Bahrain Duty Free Complex (up 18pc), United Paper Industries (up 14.8pc) and Batelco (up 11.1pc).

Trading activity was higher, as volumes rose by 57.3pc MoM to reach 151.2 million shares, whereas value traded jumped by 29.8pc MoM to BD21.6m.

The number of trades made in the exchange increased to 2,267, up 75.3pc MoM.

GFH was the most actively traded stock in September with BD13.5m worth of its shares traded on the exchange.

AUB and Batelco followed with BD10.88m and BD3.42m worth of shares traded.

In terms of volumes traded, GFH was the most active stock as 81.9m shares were traded, followed by Ithmaar Holding and AUB with 22.6m and 14.1m shares respectively.

Ithmaar Holding led the monthly gainers, with its share price more than doubling (up 125.6pc) MoM, followed by Bahrain Duty Free and United Paper Industries, which saw gains of 18pc and 14.8pc respectively.

Esterad Investment was the main laggard, as it witnessed a decline of 15.9pc MoM, followed by Gulf Hotel Group and Nass Corp with monthly declines of 10.6pc and 9.1pc respectively.

Last month’s market rally was broad-based, with GCC equities outperforming global markets to post the sixth consecutive month of gains.

Saudi Arabia posted the best monthly returns of 4.5pc, followed by Bahrain and Kuwait at 3.9pc and 2.9pc, respectively.

Gains in the UAE markets were relatively marginal, whereas Oman’s MSM 30 Index declined by 4.2pc.

This decline also moved Oman from being the lowest regional decliner in terms of year to date (YTD) 2020 returns, to now show a high single-digit percentage decline of 9.2pc.

The performance of global indices reflects an increase of Covid-19 cases across the globe during September, and the introduction of new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Almost all key global indices declined during the month resulting in a 3.6pc decline in the MSCI World Index.

The US market declined by 3.9pc whereas China reported an even steeper decline of 5.2pc.




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