Listed firms on the Muscat Securities Market have announced that they will distribute OMR417.6 million worth of dividend to their shareholders.
The cash dividends approved by the annual general meetings that were held in March stood at about OMR360 million. Still, a number of companies announced that they will distribute interim cash dividends in the coming months, the most notable of which are Oman Telecommunications Company, Port Services Corporation, Salalah Mills and Gulf Hotels Oman.
As of the end of March, 60 companies approved the distribution of cash dividends onto shareholders.
While some companies distributed cash and stock dividends, most companies distributed cash dividends only.
The major investors, especially the funds and investment companies, will use these dividends as fundsfor their current or future projects.
Omantel has paid the highest dividends as the company’s annual general meeting approved to distribute 70 per cent cash dividends i.e, 70 baisas for each share (equal toOMR52.5 million). The annual general meeting authorised the board of directors to distribute not more than 30 per cent ofthe capital as interim dividends in August 2017 or 30 baisas per share (equal to OMR22.5 million). The total dividends paid by Omantel to its shareholders this year now stands at OMR75 million.
Bank Muscat’s annual general meeting approved OMR62.4 million dividend, which make the bank the highest dividend payer, if interim dividend of Omantel is excluded. The shareholders of the bank have approved on March 19 to distribution 25 per cent cash dividend or 25 baisas per each share, in addition to 5 per cent stock dividend.
Ooredoo came third with OMR27.3 million, followed by Bank Dhofar with OMR25.6 million and National Bank ofOman with OMR23.4 million.
The statistics compiled by Oman News Agency (ONA) pointed out that the total dividends that will be paid by the six MSM listed banks stands at OMR143.8 million. The cash dividend of Omantel and Ooredoo stand atOMR102.3 million, including the expected interim dividends by Omantel.
Trading volumes surge
The value of trading at Muscat Securities Market (MSM) rose by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 to OMR300.7 million, from OMR263.7 million in the same period of last year.
Although MSM witnessed an active trading during the first quarter of this year benefiting from the high demand for shares and striking some private deals, the general index lost 232 points, comprising a decline in the performance compared to the same period last year as it added 61 points in 2016.
Domestic purchases in the first quarter of 2017 increased to OMR265.2 million, comprising 88.2 per cent of the total value of trading, compared to sales of OMR237.2 million.
MSM registered gains in the market value during the first quarter of 2017 estimated at OMR358.7 million to reach OMR17,646.8 million, compared to OMR17,288.1 million at the end of December 2016.
The foreign ownership fell to 27.5 per cent at the end of the first quarter 2017, compared to 30.1 percent at the end of March 2016.