GCC equities review: Abu Dhabi shows resilience with upbeat performance

Trading activity in the GCC remained upbeat as well reaching a 9-month high at $92.2bln with a monthly increase of 20.5% during March 2021

  
Investors speak in front of a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Investors speak in front of a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Stringer

The performance of GCC equity markets remained largely positive during March-2021 with Abu Dhabi closing on a record high at the end of the month and marginal declines in Dubai and Bahrain, KAMCO Invest said in its GCC Markets Monthly Report.

Saudi Arabia once again topped with a gain of 8.3 percent, followed by 4.4 percent gains for the Abu Dhabi, which closed at a record high at the end of the month. As a result, the MSCI GCC Index gained 7.0 percent during the month, that pushed year-to-date (YTD) 2021 gains to 12.7 percent.

According to the report, Abu Dhabi continued to lead in the GCC in terms of YTD-2021 gains that reached 17.2 percent followed by Saudi Arabia with a growth of 14.0 percent.

Trading activity in the GCC remained upbeat as well reaching a 9-month high at $92.2 billion with a monthly increase of 20.5 percent during March 2021.

Boursa Kuwait

Kuwaiti benchmarks returned to growth during March.

Large-cap stocks lead the gains with the Premier Market index outperforming other indices on the exchange with a gain of 2.7 percent to close at 6,324.4 points.

The Main Market index witnessed the smallest monthly growth of 0.8 percent resulting in a net impact of a gain of 2.2 percent for the All Share Index, the report said.

In terms of YTD-2021 returns, the Main 50 Index continued to show the biggest gain of 5.1 percent followed by a 4.5 percent gain for the Premier Market Index.

Among the various sectors Basic Materials Index topped with a gain of 10.8 percent. The Banking and Real Estate indices also reported low single digit gains of 3.1 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

Total value traded during the month increased by 8.7 percent to reach KWD 907.6 million. Trading activity was also supported by the reconstitution of FTSE index. The monthly volume traded declined by more than a fifth to 4.7 billion shares in March-2021 as compared to 6.0 billion shares during the previous month.

Saudi Arabia (Tadawul)

The Saudi Stock Exchange recorded the best monthly performance in the GCC as the index marched towards the 10,000 mark.

The benchmark TASI closed the month with a gain of 8.3 percent at 9,907.8 points, the highest level in more than six years since November-2014.

As a result, the YTD-2021 closed Q1-2021 with a gain of 14.0 percent, the second-best gain in the GCC.

As far as sector performance was concerned, the Diversified Financial Index topped with a gain of 20.1 percent followed by banks and utilities indices with gains of 11.4 percent and 10.8 percent respectively.

The banking sector showed gains across the board, thanks to better-than-expected results after banks in the kingdom reported one of the smallest decline in profitability during 2020 despite the pandemic.

The monthly value of shares traded reached a 9-month high during the month at SAR 293.3 billion as compared to SAR 245.8 billion during February 2021.

Volume traded increased by more than 50 percent during the month to reach 10.4 billion shares.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)

The ADX witnessed upbeat performance and gains for the sixth consecutive month during March that pushed the ADX General index to a record high level.

The benchmark closed the month at 5,912.56 points, registering a growth of 4.4 percent, the second-biggest monthly growth in the GCC after Saudi Arabia during March 2021.

Investment & Financial Services Index topped the sector with a gain of 32.1 percent led by 36.03 percent gain in shares of International Holdings Company further supported by 14.1 percent gain in shares of Eshraq Investments.

The Energy index was next with a gain of 9.4 percent followed by Telecom and Real Estate indices with gains of 6.4 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.

Monthly value traded increased by 34.5 percent to reach AED 23.9 billion in March-2021, a record high since at least January-2013, as compared to AED 17.7 billion during February 2021, Kamco Invest said. 

Volume traded also increased by 30 percent to reach 4.3 billion shares as compared to 3.3 billion shares during the previous month, the report noted.

Dubai Financial Market

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index continued to slide for the second consecutive month during March, albeit marginally, KAMCO Invest said in its report. The index closed at 2,550.2 points, registering a decline of 0.1 percent.

Sectors showed mixed performance during the month with the Financial & Investment Services Index topping the monthly performance chart with a gain of 5.9 percent followed by Services and Insurance indices with gains of 4.1 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

The Consumer Staples index witnessed a steep decline of 18.1 percent a 57.9 percent fall in shares of Emirates Refreshments followed by Real Estate and Construction and Banks indices with relatively smaller declines of 1.5 percent and 0.6 percent.

According to the report, trading activity on the exchange improved slightly during the month after witnessing steep declines during February-2021.

Monthly value of stocks traded increased by 7.2 percent to reach AED 4.2 billion during March-2021 as compared to AED 3.9 billion during February-2021, the report said.

Qatar Exchange

The Qatar Stock Exchange recorded the third-best monthly performance in the GCC during March after witnessing a steep decline in February.

The QE 20 Index closed the month at 10,401.5 points registering a gain of 2.5 percent.

However, the monthly gain failed to offset last month’s declines and as a result, the index continued to remain in the red since the start of the year with a marginal decline of 0.3 percent, the report said.

The Qatar All Share Index reported a monthly gain of 5.3 percent and closed at 3,145.67 points that pushed YTD-2021 gains for the index to the 3.5 percent.

According to the report, the Insurance Index topped the chart with a surge of 8.5 percent. The Real Estate index was next with a gain of 7.2 percent.

Shares of Ezdan Holding Group, the biggest company in the Real Estate sector by market-cap, surged 3.1 percent during the month after it reported higher y-o-y net profits.

The Banks & Financial Services index was mixed with healthy gains reported by large-cap banks that supported the index gains partially offset by decline in shares of small-cap investment names in the index.

Shares of Commercial Bank surged 11.8 percent during the month followed by QNB and Qatar Islamic Bank with gains of 6.0 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

Bahrain Bourse

The Bahrain Bourse traded in the red in March after reporting marginal gains during February.

The Bahrain All Share Index closed the month at 1,458.03 points, registering a decline of 0.6 percent making it the worst performing index in the GCC during the month.

All the sectoral indices declined, barring Insurance that gained 1.4 percent during the month. The gain was mainly led by 4.5 percent surge in shares of Bahrain Kuwait Insurance.

The Investment index witnessed the biggest monthly decline of 1.1 percent followed by Services and Commercial Bank indices with declines of 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Trading activity on the exchange showed growth for the third consecutive month in terms of value of shares traded that reached BHD 23.8 million in March, the report said, adding,  monthly volume of shares declined by 7.2 percent to reach 81.4 million shares.

Muscat Securities Market

The Omani stock market witnessed gains in March after declining for two consecutive months.

The MSM 30 Index gained 2.7 percent during the month resulting in a YTD-2021 gain of 1.4 percent.

The Financial index that gained 5.0 percent during the month while the Industry and Services indices declined by 0.1 percent and 0.32 percent respectively.

However, in terms of YTD-2021 performance, the industry index continues to lead with a gain of 7.6 percent followed by the Financial index at 0.9 percent while the Services index continued to remain in the red with a decline of 2.9 percent, the report said.

A double-digit gain in shares of HSBC Bank Oman and National Bank of Oman at 16.7 percent and 15.4 percent respectively triggered the surge in the Financial Index. This was further supported by even higher gain in small caps stocks including Al Anwar Investment, Muscat Finance and Oman & Emirates Inv.

Trading activity on the exchange also remained upbeat during the month. Value traded during the month more than doubled to OMR 82.6 million.

Volume traded increased by more than 150 percent to reach 654.3 million shares in March-2021 as compared 253.3 million shares during the previous month.

(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 2021

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