Bahrain Bourse rallies 4% to record 10-month high in June

Sector performance chart remained mixed during the month with gains for commercial banks at 6.8%

A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020.

A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

MANAMA: The Bahrain Bourse (BHB) hit a 10-month high in June 2021, which was also the third consecutive month of gains for the exchange.

The Bahrain All Share Index closed the month at 1,587.97 points after touching a 14-month high on June 29 at 1,596.05 points, registering a gain of 4 per cent, the biggest monthly rise in 10 months, shows analysis by Kamco Invest.

The sector performance chart remained mixed during the month with gains for commercial banks at 6.8pc followed by insurance and investment indices with gains of 2.8pc and 2.4pc respectively.

The report by the Kuwait-based research firm says the rises were partially offset by declines reported by hotels and tourism (down 6.6pc) and services (down 0.5pc).

In the commercial banking sector, four out of five banks reported gains during the month while shares of BisB remained flat.

Ahli United Bank (AUB) reported the best monthly rally in the sector at 11.1pc while rest of the banks saw only marginal rises.

Shares of AUB have been on an upswing since the start of the month.

The monthly gain further supported H1-2021 performance and lifted the benchmark deeper into the green with a first half jump of 6.6pc.

The industrial index reported the highest returns in H1-2021 at 24.8pc followed by insurance and commercial banks at 12.3pc and 8.7pc.

On the other hand, the hotels and tourism index reported the biggest fall of 12.8pc followed by the services sector that slid by 3.2pc during the first half.

The monthly gainers chart was topped by Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) with a surge of 34pc that came after Shuaa Capital announced it has sold its 3.8pc stake in the bank to GFH.

Another fund managed by Shuaa Capital, Goldilocks Fund, also sold its 9.76pc stake in the bank to GFH.

With the acquisition of these stakes, GFH’s stake in KHCB increased from 55.41pc to 69.05pc.

Other advancers on the exchange included Takaful International with its shares up 15.5pc followed by GFH and AUB with rises of 12pc and 11.1pc, respectively.

On the draggers side, Bahrain Cinema Company saw the biggest fall of 15.7pc followed by Trafco and Nass Corp with declines of 5.1pc and 4.4pc, respectively.

During the month, Investcorp announced that its plan to delist from the bourse and become a closed share company was approved by shareholders.

The delisting is now subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during Q3-2021.

On the other hand, Batelco disclosed it is considering having its shares listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange also.

It would be the first Bahrain company to have a dual listing in Saudi Arabia, but the company said it has not made a decision yet.

Trading activity on BHB remained upbeat with a sharp month-on-month increase during June 2021.

Monthly volume of shares traded reached the highest in 30 months at 178.7 million as compared with 51m during May 2021.

Monthly value traded in June 2021 reached a three-month high of BD22.1m, almost double the BD11.5m level seen during May 2021.

KHCB topped the monthly trades with BD9.1m worth of shares traded followed by AUB and GFH at BD5.5m and BD3.4m, respectively.

Equity markets in the GCC were up for the eighth consecutive month during June 2021, in a rally that started since November 2020.

Gains were broad-based with only the Qatari index reporting a marginal decline of 0.2pc during the month, whereas the rest of the GCC markets reported low to mid-single digit rises.

As a result, the MSCI GCC total return index recorded the best H1 performance since the index started tracking regional markets in 2005 with a return of 25pc during the first half this year.

All the markets in the GCC were in the green this year with a majority of the indices reporting double digit gains.

Sectoral performance also logged a broad-based rally during June 2021 with only the food and drug retail and transportation sectors reporting losses of 3.2pc and 0.1pc, respectively, while the rest of the 15 sectors showed increases.

The pharma and biotech index topped performance last month and in H1-2021 with returns of 24.3pc and 50.4pc, respectively.

All the sectors were in the green in terms of H1-2021 returns with gains for 13 sectors in double digits.

Large-cap sectors like banks, materials and telecoms reported surges of more than 20pc, whereas for the energy sector rises were at 6.7pc.

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