GCC financial markets in March saw the biggest quarterly gains since the second quarter of 2009 as higher oil prices supported the trading sentiment.

All markets were in the green during quarter with Abu Dhabi reporting the biggest gain of 17.2% followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia with gains of 16.4% and 16%, respectively, according to a monthly report by Kamco Invest.

The MSCI GCC index continued its four-month rally and was up 5.2% during the month.

Capital Goods, Materials and Banking sectors topped during Q1-2022 with gains of almost 20%. Energy and healthcare followed with growth of 18.2% and 15.1%, respectively. Consumer Durable & Apparels and Pharma were the only sectors that declined this quarter by 10.0% and 5.1%, respectively.

UAE

Abu Dhabi’s FTSE ADX index was the best performing market in the GCC during March with nearly 7% gain to close at 9,948.78 points.

The exchange’s market cap rose reached 1.8 trillion dirhams. The benchmark also led in the GCC in terms of year-to-date (YTD) gains that reached 17.2% at the end of March after registering record growth during 2021.

The Basic Materials index recorded an increase of nearly 30%, the largest monthly gain among the indices.

Total volume of shares traded rose to 6.1 billion shares compared to 4.4 billion shares in the previous month. Total value traded surged nearly 44% to 40 billion dirhams.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index was the fourth best performing market in March. The benchmark gained 5.1% and closed at 3,526.6 points.

The index performance was supported by gains in including large-cap sectors such as Banks, Real Estate, and Insurance.

Trading activity on the exchange rose compared to previous month. Total volume of shares traded rose nearly 40% to reach 3.7 billion shares in March. Total value also climbed over 83% to reach 10.5 billion dirhams.

Saudi Arabia

The Tadawul TASI continued to see new multi-year highs during March with continued primary market activity. The benchmark TASI index closed the month at the highest level in 17 years at 13,090.4 points with a monthly gain of 4%.

Materials index topped with a gain of 10.2% followed by Healthcare and Utilities indices with gains of 8.1% and 6.3%, respectively.

Trading activity reached one of the highest monthly levels on record. The volume of shares traded rose to 5.2 billion shares from 3.9 billion. The value of shares traded also rose to reach 234.6 billion riyals, up from 159.5 billion riyals.

Kuwait

Kuwaiti equity market was up for the third consecutive month during March. The Premier Market index showed 8.9% return for the month while the Main 50 Index and the Main Market indices registered gains of 0.2% and 0.6%, respectively. The net impact was a gain of 6.7% for the All-Share Market Index.

Among sectors, the Banking index led with a gain of 10% following robust financial results and dividend announcements.

Total volume jumped by 9% to 5.7 billion shares. Monthly value traded rose 20% to hit 1.6 billion Kuwaiti dinars in March.

Qatar

The Qatar Stock Exchange gained for the fourth consecutive month during March, with its benchmark index gaining 4.5% during the month.

The QE20 index closed the month above the 13,000-mark for the first time since 2014 at 13,533.2 points.

Trading activity climbed to one of the highest monthly levels in several years, with traded volume rising 61% to 6.9 billion shares. Total value traded also jumped 77% to 24.3 billion riyals.

Bahrain

The Bahrain Bourse was the third best performer among GCC markets during March. The Bahrain All Share Index rose 5.6% to 2,073.54 points breaching the 2,000-mark for the first time since November 2008

The gains were led by the Materials index, with its single constituent, Aluminum Bahrain (Alba), which soared 17.6%.

Total volume of shares traded rose to a four-month high of 72.9 million shares in March, while value traded was also one of the highest in recent months at 32 million dinars.

Oman

Oman’s Muscat stock market recorded the smallest gain among GCC markets in March.

The MSM 30 Index rose 3.7% to 4,205.2 points.  Financial and Industrial supported the gains.

Total volume of shares traded during the month rose 66% to 838 million shares. Monthly value traded nearly doubled to 168.5 million Omani rials.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria) 

brinda.darasha@lseg.com