Review: In November, GCC equity markets hit highest level since February 2020

Saudi Arabia and Dubai recorded the best monthly performance, with double-digit gains

  
A man stands at the stock market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 5, 2020. \

A man stands at the stock market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 5, 2020. \

REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi

November saw the highest level that the GCC equity markets have reached since February 2020, thanks to consistent gains across the GCC exchanges as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine announcements made by pharma companies worldwide.

Saudi Arabia and Dubai recorded the best monthly performance, with double-digit gains of 10.6 percent each. Gains for the Abu Dhabi and Qatar exchange benchmarks were also impressive, at 6.5 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, KAMCO Invest said in its GCC Markets Monthly Report.

Kuwait reported flattish performance despite profit booking by local investors on the back the upgrade to Emerging Market status by MSCI.

In terms of YTD-2020 performance, Saudi Arabia was the only market in the GCC that was in the green at 4.3 percent, while the rest of the GCC markets continued to report declines. Trading activity for the GCC exchanges reached a five-month high of $84.6 billion during the month.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul exchange witnessed the biggest monthly gain during November-2020 amid a broad-based rally.

The benchmark closed at 8,747.1 points with a monthly gain of 10.6 percent, the biggest monthly gain since December 2016. The gains also pushed YTD-2020 returns into the green with a gain of 4.3 percent and Saudi Arabia was the only market in the GCC to record growth since the start of the year.

Gains in Saudi Arabia during November closely reflected the rally in global markets as well as the 27 percent gain in oil prices during the month. Oil prices benefitted from vaccine hopes that can potentially result in higher demand for crude in the near term as well as a likely extension to the OPEC+ pact with a delay in tapering of existing cuts, the Kuwait based financial services company said in its report.

The monthly sector performance chart showed gains for all the sectors on the exchange during November-2020. The Consumer Durables & Apparel index witnessed the biggest monthly gain of 32 percent followed by Diversified Financials and Pharma, Biotech & Life Science segments with monthly gains of 29.2 percent and 28.1 percent, respectively.

Large-cap sectors like Banking and Materials witnessed double digit gains during the month at 11.6 percent and 12.0 percent, respectively, whereas the Energy index was up by 7.0 percent reflecting 6.8 percent gain in shares of Aramco.

Trading activity on the exchange also remained upbeat during the month.

Monthly volume of shares increased by 0.5 percent to reach 9.4 billion shares during November-2020 as compared to 9.3 billion shares during the previous month. The monthly value of shares increased at a much larger pace of 16.9 percent to reach SAR 258.6 billion

Dubai

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was the best performing index in the GCC in November 2020 with a gain of 10.6 percent m-o-m.

The index closed at 2419.60 points and sectoral performance was positive.

The Real Estate and Construction index was the best performer with gains of 16.5 percent m-o-m. Emaar group of stocks jumped with Emaar Malls gaining the most with an increase of 23.7 percent m-o-m, followed by Emaar Development (+19.3 percent) and Emaar Properties (+19.1 percent). Emaar Properties reported 9 month-2020 revenues of AED 13.4 billion, down 26 percent y-o-y from AED 18 billion, as total sales backlog of the group stood at AED 40.8 billion.

In terms of trading activity, the DFM witnessed improving trends on major indicators, as volumes traded increased by 17.4 percent mo-m to reach 4.7 billion shares. In terms of value traded, total value of shares improved by 82.2 percent m-o-m to reach AED 5.9 billion.

In terms of monthly gainers, Gulfa Mineral Water led all stocks as its stock price gained by 31.1 percent in Nov-2020, KAMCO Invest said.

Emaar Malls and Agility followed, as their stock prices jumped up by 23.6 percent and 19.8 percent respectively. On the other hand, shares of Dubai National Insurance declined the most as its share price declined by 6.3 percent m-o-m.

Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) index moved in line with broad positives cues witnessed in the GCC in November and gained by 6.5 percent m-o-m for the month.

The index closed at 4964.93 points, and performance was positive from all sectors. Real Estate was the top performing sector, gaining by 11.0 percent m-o-m, followed by Insurance (+9.3 percent) and Banks (+8.4 percent).

The Real Estate sector was buoyed by Aldar's 13 percent m-o-m gain, followed by a 12.7 percent jump in the share price of RAK Properties. Services (+6.7 percent), Investment & Financial Services (4.3 percent) and Industrials (4.1 percent) were the other sectors that followed with gains for the month of November 2020. The Energy index was up 2.2 percent m-o-m.

Trading activity on the exchange was higher m-o-m, as volumes traded was up by 21.6 percent to 2.82 billion shares. Value traded moved up by 34.4 percent m-o-m to reach AED 13.1 billion during November 2020.

In terms of most actively traded stocks, FAB led all stocks in terms of value traded, with AED 3.9 billion worth of shares traded during the month. Aldar and International Holdings followed as AED 2.2 billion and AED 1.79 billion worth of shares were traded respectively.

Kuwait

Kuwaiti benchmarks traded within a tight range during November 2020 as it prepared for the inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market index that happened at the end of the month, the KAMCO report said.

Boursa Kuwait witnessed seamless inclusion in the MSCI EM index with one of the highest single day trading on record at KWD 961.6 million. On the day of the inclusion, the market witnessed minimal declines, in-line with the performance of the rest of the GCC EMs that were upgraded previously.

The Premier Market index witnessed a single-day decline of 1.6 percent as all the seven stocks upgraded by MSCI are constituents of this index. On the other hand, the Main Market index saw marginal gains during the day at 0.2 percent, the report said.

The monthly performance of Kuwaiti indices showed marginal gains during November-2020 primarily led by Main 50 stocks with the index up 1.4% resulting in a 1.0 percent gain for the Main Market index.

Gains for the Premier Market index was flattish with marginal gains of 0.1 percent, resulting in a 0.3 percent gain for the All Share Index.

Trading activity on the exchange witnessed significant m-o-m gains on the back of the MSCI inclusion.

Total value traded during the month reached KWD 2.2 billion, up 89.8 percent as compared to previous month and was the highest monthly traded level since June 2013. Monthly volume of shares declined by 11.3 percent m-o-m to reach 5.5 billion shares as the bulk of the trades were in large-cap stocks during the month.

Qatar

Qatar’s QE-20 index gained by 5.9 percent m-o-m in November-2020 and closed at 10262.1 points, while the Qatar All Share index gained by 4.9 percent m-o-m over the same period.

Sectoral performance was positive and was led by the Industrials (+14.5 percent) and Transportation (+13.4 percent) indices, KAMCO said in its report. Industries Qatar (+22.0 percent) and Mesaieed Petrochemical (+12.7 percent) were the main drivers for Industrials, while Nakilat (+20.4 percent) and Qatar Navigation (+6.1 percent) were gainers in the Transportation sector.

In November, Nakilat was added to the MSCI Emerging Markets Large Cap Index as a constituent of the MSCI Qatar Large Cap index.

The addition comes following MSCI’s Semi-Annual Index Review on 10 Nov 2020. The Banks & Financial Services index was up 1.2 percent m-o-m, as QIIB was up 6.9 percent m-o-m.

Trading activity was broadly stable m-o-m during Nov-2020 as value traded increased by 11.5 percent m-o-m, to reach QAR 11.5 billion as compared to QAR 10.3 billion during October-2020.

Volumes traded declined by 4.1 percent to reach 5.4 billion shares in November-2020, as against 5.6 billion shares in the month prior, the report said.

Bahrain

The Bahrain Bourse gained 3.5 percent m-o-m in November and closed at 1477.51 points, even as sectoral performance was mostly positive, barring the Hotels & Tourism index (-2 percent m-o-m).

Industrials was the best performing sectoral index with gains of 23.2 percent m-o-m in November-2020, driven by a 23.8 percent m-o-m gain in Alba.

Trading activity was down, as volumes declined by 21.7 percent m-o-m to reach 83.9 million shares. Value traded decreased by 25.4 percent m-o-m and reached BHD 14.9 million.

The number of trades made in the exchange was broadly stable at 1,377 trades, up marginally by 0.4 percent m-o-m from Octoner. GFH was the most actively traded stock in November 2020 with BHD 5.67 million worth of its shares traded on the exchange. AUB and Batelco followed with BHD 5.16 million and BHD 4.49 million worth of shares traded.

In terms of volumes traded, GFH was the most active stock as 37.7 million shares were traded, followed by Batelco and AUB with 8.2 million and 6.6 million shares respectively. In terms of monthly gainers Aluminum Bahrain saw its share price gain by 23.8 percent m-o-m, followed by Khaleeji Commercial Bank and Batelco with gains of 15.4 percent and 15.2 percent respectively.

NBK topped the monthly value traded chart with KWD 723.6 billion worth of shares traded during the month followed by KFH and Zain at KWD 458.3 million and KWD 251.0 million, respectively.

In terms of monthly sector performance, the Oil & Gas and Basic Materials indices recorded the biggest gains of 4.6 percent each closely followed by the Technology index with a gain of 4.5 percent, the KAMCO report said.

Oman

After witnessing declines for two consecutive months, the Omani stock market witnessed gains during November-2020, in line with the rest of the GCC markets.

The Muscat Securities Market (MSM) 30 index reached 3,643.5 points by the end of the month, recording a gain of 2.4 percent after the surge in the index during the first half of the month sustained during the second half.

The sector performance chart was mixed with gains for the Financial and Industrial sectors at 1.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, whereas the Services sector declined by 0.6 percent. As a result of the monthly gains during November-2020, the MSM 30 index is now showing a decline of 8.5 percent in terms of YTD-2020 returns.

In terms of sectors, the Industrial index showed the smallest decline of 4.7 percent followed by the Financial and Services indices with YTD-2020 declines of 10.1 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.

Trading activity on the exchange declined during the month with both volume and value traded receding. Monthly volume of shares traded declined by 34.4 percent to reach 125.7 million traded shares during November compared to 191.6 million shares traded during October.

Value traded declined at a much marginal rate of 2.3 percent to reach OMR 29.2 million during November2020 as compared to OMR 29.9 million during October 2020.

Bank Muscat topped the monthly value traded chart with 37.2 million traded shares during the month followed by Ooredoo Oman and United Finance with 8.6 million and 7.9 million traded shares, respectively.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2020

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