Oman market picks up as local bourses make gains

Market Wrap: Oman shares rise on the back of Bank Muscat's upgrade of BofA Merril Lynch from neutral to buy.

How the ADX closed on May 31, 2011.
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Oman's largest lender by market value rose after Bank of America (BofA) Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral".

Bank Muscat rose 2 per cent to 0.725 rials a share.

Loan growth will likely gain momentum this year and reach a sustainable 13 per cent from 2012 onwards, driven by a pick up in corporate credit activity, BofA Merril Lynch said.

"Our bullish view on the stock is underpinned by the bank's experienced management, its resilience and benign growth outlook, while being well positioned to benefit from a fall in provisioning in H2," BofA Merrill Lynch wrote in a note to clients. Bank Muscat's price target was raised to 0.96 rials from 0.92 rials.

Oman's benchmark added 0.7 per cent to 6,007.89 points.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was up 0.6 per cent to 2,637.31, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index was up 1.3 per cent to 1,557.05.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index was unchanged at 6,378.20. Bahrain's measure was also unchanged at 1,346.66. Qatar's measure was unchanged at 8,356.01. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was little changed at 6,738.45.