Bahrain Bourse: Surge in insurance index

Bahrain’s benchmark index closed at 1,466.43 points, registering a gain of 0.3 per cent during the month

  

MANAMA: The Bahrain Bourse (BHB) reported marginal gains during February 2021 on the back of mixed performance in sectoral indices.

The Bahrain All Share Index along with Saudi’s Tadawul and Abu Dhabi’s ADX were the only positive performers in the GCC during the month with most markets showing declines, shows Kuwait-based Kamco Invest’s GCC Equity Markets report.

Bahrain’s benchmark index closed at 1,466.43 points, registering a gain of 0.3 per cent during the month.

The insurance index topped the monthly performance chart with a gain of 4.5pc followed by the industrial and commercial banks indices with gains of 3.3pc and 1.2pc.

The surge in the insurance index was led by a 10pc gain in shares of Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) and 7.3pc gain in shares of Bahrain National Holding (BNH) that were partially offset by a 1.5pc decline in shares of Solidarity Bahrain.

BKIC shares gained after the insurer reported a 40pc increase in net profit at BD3.8 million for FY-2020.

Shares of BNH also surged after the company reported higher net profits for FY-2020.

The gain in the industrial index was solely led by a 3.4pc gain in shares of Alba, which saw its Q4-2020 net profit more than double year-on-year (YoY) to BD32m despite a 5pc YoY decline in revenue from contracts with customers.

On the decliners side, the services index topped with a fall of 3.9pc followed by hotels and tourism and investments indices with declines of 3.1pc and 0.1pc, respectively.

Within the services index, the 1.75pc gain by Zain Bahrain was more than offset by a 6.9pc drop in Batelco followed by declines in Nass Corp and Seef Properties to the tune of 10pc and 5.5pc, respectively.

Zain Bahrain reported higher FY-2020 net profit of BD5.4m and Batelco logged a 10pc jump in FY-2020 net profit, although its Q4-2020 net profit saw a 12pc YoY decline.

Meanwhile, shares of Nass Corp declined after the company reported an 8pc decline in FY-2020 revenue resulting in higher net loss for the year.

Shares of Seef Properties also slumped due to a fall in FY-2020 net profits, that were down to BD4.5m, less than half of BD10.9m during FY-2019.

The monthly gainers chart was topped by APM Terminals Bahrain with a gain of 12.5pc after the company reported 13pc increase in revenues during FY-2020 that led to a 34pc increase in net profit.

BKIC was next on the gainers chart with a gain of 10pc followed by Bahrain Islamic Bank and BNH with gains of 7.4pc and 7.3pc, respectively.

On the decliners chart, Ithmaar Holding topped with a fall of 16.9pc followed by Nass Corp and Batelco with monthly declines of 10pc and 6.9pc, respectively.

Shares of Ithmaar Holding declined after the company reported losses of $41.7m in FY-2020.

Looking at the wider region which saw a mixed performance, Saudi was the only noticeable positive performer during the month with a gain of 5.1pc that buoyed the broader GCC index in the positive zone with a monthly return of 3.5pc.

Sector performance chart for the month also showed buying in banks in the region as well as stocks that witnessed resilience during the Covid-19 lockdowns including pharma, telecom, retailing and F&B.

On the other hand, sectors that were most affected showed a monthly decline that included transportation, utilities and real estate.

Globally, the 6.1pc return for India’s Sensex was the highlight in the emerging markets space.

The commodities market also rallied during the month with copper reaching a 13-year high and oil hovered around 66/b backed by prospects of faster economic growth in the near-term.

avinash@gdn.com.bh

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