ALBA's share-price continues to be in the dumps for the last many months now (a whopping 40 per cent below the IPO price last year) and timely remedial action is badly needed to restore this flagship company's image.
Many Bahraini and expat residents of Bahrain I know applied for Alba shares, as a measure of support/confidence in Bahrain's economy and based on Alba's own sterling production track record. It came as a major shock therefore, to find Alba's share price falling steeply just a few months after the IPO issue as a result of a sudden spike in the price of gas supplied to Alba, announced for 2012 (with also uncertainty in pricing for subsequent periods). While I agree that any equity-investor should be prepared for price fluctuations linked to normal economic swings, here it is a sharp slump related to specific policy change by a government agency !
Alba's public share issue was clearly a proud milestone in Bahrain's progress in capital markets. Alba is also a key projection of Bahrain's image in world markets. The substantial share price slump is causing serious damage to Bahrain, which needs to be remedied, more so at a time when Bahrain is actively working to repair impact of other social issues affecting Bahrain's fine image. I hope the relevant government agencies can review this Alba issue and institute some remedial measures: Some gas-price moderation, considering that in any case Bahrain government is ultimately the beneficiary of the bulk of Alba's profits(as Alba's dominant shareholder) or some share-price support mechanism via buyback close to the IPO price ?