Bahrain's equity market sees third-best monthly performance in GCC

Bahrain’s equity market rallied to post the third-best monthly performance in the GCC last month amidst high volatility since the start of the new year.

Analysis by Kuwait-based Kamco Invest shows the benchmark All Share index at Bahrain Bourse registered a gain of 1.7pc to close January 2023 at 1,928.24 points.

In terms of sectoral performance, the materials index, which only has one constituent company (Alba), dominated the rest of the sectoral indices surging 11.9pc to close the month at 5,604.9 points.

Alba’s share price rise was mainly attributed to the robust production last year in which the company hit a new historic record of 1.6 million metric tonnes with a year-on-year growth of 2.5pc.

The industrial and financial indices advanced 2.7pc and 0.5pc, respectively, whereas the communication services index topped the decliners chart with a slide of 3.6pc mainly dragged down by Batelco’s 4.2pc slump during January 2023.

Recording a 2.3pc downturn during the month, the real estate index closed at 2,938.1 mainly due to a 2.4pc drop in the share-price of Seef Properties.

According to Bloomberg, the monthly gainers chart at BHB was led by Nass Corp which saw its share price soar 38.5pc followed by Alba and Ithmaar Holdings that saw increases of 11.9pc and 10pc, respectively.

Among decliners, Batelco topped the table with a 4.2pc fall followed by Seef Properties and Bahrain Kuwait Insurance which recorded reversals of 2.4pc and 1.5pc, respectively.

Trading activity on the exchange was strong during January 2023 with the total volume of shares changing hands surging 36pc to 34.7m when compared with 25.5m during December 2022.

The value of shares traded during the month more than doubled to BD14.7m as compared to BD6.3m during the previous month.

Al Salam Bank rose to the top of the monthly volume traded chart with 9.9m shares changing hands followed by Alba and GFH Financial Group at 5.3m shares and 4.7m shares, respectively.

Similarly, on the value traded chart, Kuwait Finance House–Bahrain led with BD11.3m worth of shares traded during the month followed by Alba and GFH Financial Group Company at BD6.4m and BD1.2m, respectively.

Zooming out, equity markets in the GCC saw a mixed performance last month with a reversal of the 2022 trend resulting in healthy gains for last year’s underperformers (Saudi and Qatar) offsetting declines in last year’s outperformers – Abu Dhabi and Oman.

The net impact at the GCC level was a marginal gain of 1.5pc for the MSCI GCC index during January 2023.

Saudi Arabia’s TASI was the best performing index in the GCC with a gain of 3pc following an upward trend in the benchmark seen since the start of the month.

Qatar was next with a gain of 2.4pc followed by Bahrain with a gain of 1.7pc.

On the decliners side, Abu Dhabi was the biggest loser with a fall of 3.9pc followed by Oman and Dubai with reversals of 3.2pc and 1pc, respectively.

In terms of sector performance, the GCC insurance sector outperformed with a gain of 8.2pc followed by F&B (+6.8pc) and food and drug retail (+6.1pc), while financials was the biggest decliner with a drop of 3.3pc.


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