By Santhosh V Perumal Business Reporter Qatar Exchange yesterday witnessed profit booking, especially in transport, telecom and real estate stocks, after two days of bull- run. Large and mid cap equities mainly came under selling pressure as the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) fell 0.34% to 10,462.54 points, ahead of the QR3.23bn initial public offer of a Qatar Petroleum unit. The index that tracks Shariah-principle stocks, however, braved the odds with it reporting marginal gains. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company — which comprises Q-Chem I, Q-Chem II and Qatar Vinyl Company — is offering 323.19mn shares at QR10.2 per share through its IPO, which will hit the market later this month. The Qatari bourse's key index has been remaining above the 10,000 mark for the 31st consecutive day. Increased selling pressure local retail investors and domestic institutions led to an overall bearish overhang in the market, which is, however, up 25.17% year-to-date. Foreign institutions continued to be bullish but with lesser vigour amid their lower exposure in view of Christmas and New Year, while non-Qatari retail investors were increasingly bullish. About 62% of the stocks were in the red with major losers being Industries Qatar , QNB, Masraf Al Rayan , Nakilat , Barwa, Mazaya Qatar, United Development Company , Gulf International Services and Qatar Islamic Bank . However, Vodafone Qatar , Qatari Investors Group and Salam International Investment bucked the trend. The 20-stock Total Return Index shrank 0.34% to 14,948.58 points and All Share Index (with wider constituents) by 0.32% to 2,602.27, whereas Al Rayan Islamic Index rose 0.1% to 3,099.95. All the three indices factored in dividend income as well. Transport stocks fell 1.33%, telecom (0.78%), realty (0.7%) and banks and financial services (0.48%); while consumer goods and insurance rose 0.36% and 0.25% respectively. Market capitalisation fell 0.37% or more than QR2bn to QR556.65bn. Large and mid cap stocks lost 0.56% and 0.31%; while small and micro caps gained about 1% each. Qatari individual investors net selling was QR8.151mn against QR4.27mn the previous day. Domestic institutions' net selling amounted to QR13.8mn compared to QR7.98mn on Tuesday. Non-Qatari institutions were net buyers to the tune of QR8.97mn against net sellers of QR3.15mn the previous day. Foreign institutions' net buying was QR13.34mn compared to QR15.44mn on Tuesday. Total trading volume rose 15% to 12.24mn stocks, value by 3% to QR386.64mn and transactions by 6% to 5,589. The insurance sector's trading volume grew six-fold to 0.06mn equities and value by about nine-fold to QR3.85mn on more than doubled deals to 57. The consumer goods sector's trading volume rose almost six-fold to 3.25mn shares and value more than doubled to QR62.46mn on more than doubled transactions to 915. The banks and financial services sector reported 41% surge in trading volume to 3.59mn equities, 39% in value to QR141.05mn and 14% in deals to 1,663. The telecom sector's trading volume was up 5% to 1.85mn stocks and value by 4% to QR22.77mn but transactions were down 11% to 383. However, the real estate sector's trading volume plummeted 47% to 1.45mn shares, value by 44% to QR35.18mn and deals by 38% to 573. There was a 33% plunge in industrials sector's trading volume to 1.62mn equities, 26% in value to QR111.3mn and less than 1% in transactions to 1,875. The transport sector witnessed 27% shrinkage in trading volume to 0.41mn stocks, 37% in value to QR10.03mn and 35% in deals to 123. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds.
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