Monday, June 16, 2008

MSM drops; Saudi Woman busted for driving

In domestic news today, the Muscat Stock Market dipped by more than 2%. What didn’t help of course was the Oman Central bank significantly cutting the banks ability to lend money. This was done to try to reduce the ever accelerating money supply growth in Oman, as the rial remains fixed to the dollar, oil revenues continue to soar, and the Government (and everyone else too it seems) is hell-bent on building, building, building.

It’s a pity the other big construction firms, apart from Galfar, remain privately held. They are coining it right now. The Bahwans, et al must be feeling very, very rich lately. I saw a nice brand new Lamborgini yesterday in Qurm. Veeery Niiice.

So, it would be likely the MSM will continue to climb steadily long term, but only as long as oil stays high. Beware, a significant drop in oil price will precipitate a really big drop in the MSM, IMHO.

Market crashes by 266 points

MUSCAT The MSM-30 General Index opened the week on a negative note, dropping 2.22 per cent or 266.51 points to close at 11,720.6 points.

The market breadth was extremely negative with five stocks advancing while 34 stocks ended lower. Turnover was RO20.72 million on a volume of 18.06 million, lower than its 21 day moving average (MA).

Among the sub-indices, the banking and investment index was the worst performer down 1.99 per cent driven by the hike in reserve requirement for commercial banks from 5 per cent to 8 per cent of total deposits, decrease in the lending ratio from 87.5 per cent to 82.5 per cent and lowering of interest rate ceiling on personal loans from 8.5 per cent to 8 per cent.

National Securities (NSCI) lost 7 per cent to close at RO1.712, while heavyweight BankMuscat (BKMB) lost 5.5 per cent to close at RO1.888.

Among the industrial sector stocks, Galfar Engineering (GECS) continued its decline for the second straight day closing 2.17 per cent lower while Majan Glass (MGCI) ended 6.8 per cent higher.

And from the world of public beheadings, and where all women have an official owner, this gem from the Gulf News. And how I wish we had a paper even close to this one. I love the court reports.
Saudi woman detained for violating driving ban
Gulf News Published: June 15, 2008, 23:44
Riyadh: Saudi police have detained a woman for violating rules banning women from driving in the country, a newspaper said on Sunday. The woman from Buraida north of Riyadh was stopped by a police patrol after driving 10km to collect her husband, Al Hayat newspaper said.

The woman's "legal guardian" - her husband - was required to sign a declaration that he would not allow her to drive again, it said. It was not immediately clear if she was released or would face legal action.


  1. I thought that Saudi Arabia already lifted the ban of women driving ?!

  2. UD,

    Yep, the GN has some wonderful articles. My particular favourite was about the TCN expat deported from UAE for an affair with a camel, which was only surpassed by the story of (perhaps the same guy) forced to marry a goat he'd been seening, I think in Bagladesh (it was a while back). Wish I had been aware of your excellent blog (now on my favourites) when I had the joy of reading these in fresh print.

    Thanks for the Gonu figures incidentally. I had actually guessed higher.


  3. Amjad
    They talked about maybe lifting it one day, but don't hold your breath.

    Its not a firm number, but indicative (ie not more than 5000, not less than 1000). I'll keep checking and see if I can get better estimate.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...