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GCC equity markets witness first decline in 3 months: Kamco

KUWAIT, September 3, 2023

The MSCI GCC Index witnessed a steep decline of 3.8% during August led by fall in four out of seven exchanges, including in Saudi Arabia, according to Kamco Invest, a regional non-banking financial powerhouse based in Kuwait. 
The decline came despite oil seeing gains for the third consecutive month on supply cuts and steady demand data.
Qatar was the worst performing market in the GCC during August-2023 with a slide of 7.0% led by decline in almost all indices on the exchange. Kuwait and Bahrain followed with declines of 3.4% and 2.0% while Saudi’s TASI was down by 1.7%. 
Biggest decline
The declines in Qatar wiped off all gains since the start of the year to report the biggest decline in the GCC at 4.6% followed by Abu Dhabi and Kuwait both at 3.9% declines. 
On the other hand, Dubai was the best performing market with a YTD-2023 gain of 22.4% followed by Saudi Arabia at 9.7%.
The GCC sector chart showed declines in most sectors with Healthcare leading at –11.6% followed by F&B and Telecom. Banks and Material were down by 3.9% and 2.9%, respectively, while Insurance and Energy showed gains of 5.9% and 4.4%, respectively.
Boursa Kuwait closed August-2023 with the second-biggest monthly decline of 3.4% to close at 7,005.84 points led by consistent declines during the month. The decline was mainly led by large-cap stocks including Banks with the corresponding index reporting the third-biggest decline this month. In terms of market segments, the Premier Market Index witnessed the biggest monthly decline of 4.5% during August-2023 as the performance of most of the constituent stocks in the index declined.
The Main 50 Index and the Main Market Index reported relatively small monthly gain of 1.1%. The declines affected YTD-2023 performance for the market with the All-Share Index showing the second-biggest decline in the GCC at -3.9%. The Premier Market index declined by 5.2% since the start of the year, whereas the Main 50 Index receded 1.5% vs. 1.7% gain for the Main Market Index.
The Bahrain Bourse All Share Index recorded the biggest monthly decline in five months during August-2023 with a fall of 2.0% to close the month at 1,952.2 points. In terms of sectoral performance, the picture was mixed since four out of the seven sector indices witnessed declines during the month. The Consumer Staples index recorded the biggest monthly decline in August2023 at -6.7% to close the month at 2,607.2 points. The Communications Services index was next with a decline of 5.5% to close the month at 2,493.9 points mainly due to the 3.5% drop in shares in Bahrain Cinema Company. On the other hand, the Materials index recorded a gain of 1.4% to close the month at 5,145.5 points solely due to the 1.4% monthly share price uptick of Aluminum Bahrain during August-2023.
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s headline equity index, TASI, reported monthly decline during August-2023 reflecting recent earnings announcements that affected investor sentiments despite elevated energy prices. The benchmark TASI peaked at a closing high of 11,636 points at the beginning of the month but mostly trended downward during the rest of the month to close with a decline of 1.7% at 11,491.2 points. 
However, Saudi Arabia ranked second in the GCC in terms of YTD-2023 performance with a gain of 9.7%. During the month, Saudi Arabia's Lumi, one of the largest auto rental firms in the kingdom and a wholly-owned unit of Seera Group, announced plans to proceed with an IPO on the Saudi Exchange. The firm set its IPO price range between SR62 and SR66 per share. Lumi expects to issue 16.5 million existing shares, resulting in a free float of 30%.
Abu Dhabi
The FTSE ADX index edged up by 0.2% during August-2023 closing the month at 9,810.2 points and recording its third consecutive monthly gain. In terms of sectoral indices, the picture was even as five out of the ten sectors recorded growth during the month while the remaining five recorded declines. On the gainers’ side, the Healthcare index witnessed the biggest monthly gain registering 19.3% growth to close the month at 3,607.9 points mainly due to Burjeel Holding’s 27.5% share price growth during August-2023.
The Consumer Discretionary index followed with 11.7% index gain to close the month at 9,131.1 points mainly due to the 17.3% share price gain of Abu Dhabi National Hotels Co. Three out of the five constituent companies of the Consumer Discretionary sector witnessed gains in share prices during the month. On the decliners’ side, the Telecommunications index led the way with a 10.8% slide during the month to close the month at 4,946.2 points followed by the Consumer Staples index which witnessed a 3.4% fall during August-2023. Three out of the four companies in the Telecom index witnessed share price declines during the month including Ooredoo (-11.6%) and Etisalat (-11.4%).
The DFM General Index witnessed a monthly gain of 0.6% during August-2023 to close at 4,082.87 points registering its fifth consecutive monthly gain. Monthly index performance was mixed during the month after five out of the eight indices witnessed declines during August-2023 while the remaining three indices saw gains to offset the overall decline during the month. The Consumer Staples Index recorded the biggest monthly gain for the second month running registering 7.4% growth to close the month at 153.2 points mainly driven by Emirate Refreshments’ nearly 6.9% price gain during August-2023.
The Industrial index followed as the second largest gainer during the month with 4.5% growth after the sector’s three constituent companies led by Air Arabia Company recorded a 9.7% share price rise during August-2023. The Real Estate index also saw a gain of 2.7% to close the month at 6,865.6 points mainly driven by an 18% share price jump for Al Mazaya Holding Company. The Communications Services index was the biggest decliner among the indices recording 3.6% decline during the month to close the month at 898.0 points. 
After posting gains during the previous month, the Qatar Stock Exchange reported the biggest m-o-m decline during August - 2023. The QE 20 index closed the month at 10,194.7 points witnessing a decline of 7.0%, almost in-line with the performance of the Qatar All Share Index that reported a monthly decline of 6.7% to close at 3,436.68 points. With the decline during August-2023, the YTD-2023 returns for the QE 20 index was slashed to a decline of 4.6%, the biggest in the GCC, and the QE All Share index reported a YTD-2023 decline of 0.4%. In terms of listings, the month saw the listing of MEEZA in the Consumer Goods & Services sector, the third listing for the year.
The MSX 30 index witnessed a marginal gain of 0.5% during August-2023 to close the month at 4,799.0 points recording its third consecutive monthly gain. In terms of sectoral performance, only one out of the three sector indices on the exchange recorded a gain during August-2023. The Financial Sector Index recorded the only monthly gain among the indices registering 0.1% increase during August-2023 to close the month at 7,831.4 points mainly driven by the share price growth of bulk of the companies in the sector such as Al Madina Investment Holding (+7.3%), Bank Nizwa (+5.3%) and Oman Arab Bank (+3.6%).
The monthly gain of these heavy weight companies lifted the sector index as well as the general index up into the green. In comparison, the Industrial Index registered a (-1.7%) monthly fall during August-2023 to close the month at 6,010.5 points while the Services Index witnessed a dip (0.6%) during the month closing at 1,663.0 points.-- TradeArabia News Service


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