News Column

Qatar bourse back on positive trajectory

January 22, 2014

The 20-stock Qatar Index settled 0.68% higher at 11,147.39 points yesterday By Santhosh V Perumal/Business Reporter Middle East stocks gain The Qatar Exchange was back on the positive trajectory yesterday despite losers outnumbering gainers. The 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) settled 0.68% higher at 11,147.39 points despite local retail investors continuing to be net sellers in view of the QR3.23bn initial public offer of Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company , which closed for subscription yesterday. Telecom, real estate and industrials stocks witnessed relatively larger buying pressure in the market, whose key index has been remaining above 11,000 points for the seventh day in succession. Large cap equities notably witnessed higher buying interests in the market, which is however up 7.4% year-to-date. The 20-stock Total Return Index rose 0.68% to 15,927.06 points, All Share Index (with wider constituents) by 0.56% to 2,754.84 and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 0.48% to 3,214.15. All the three indices factored in dividend income as well. Telecom stocks appreciated 2.08%, realty (1.99%), industrials (0.68%), banks and financial services (0.3%) and transport (0.11%); while consumer goods and insurance fell 0.36% and 0.14% respectively. Among the influential gainers were QNB, Industries Qatar , Gulf International Services , Barwa, Vodafone Qatar , Ooredoo and United Development Company . However, Qatar Islamic Bank , Doha Bank , Mazaya Qatar, Nakilat , Qatari Investors Group and Qatar Insurance Company bucked the trend. Market capitalisation gained 0.68% or about QR4bn to QR587.94bn. Large and mid-cap equities gained 0.77% and 0.34%, whereas micro and small caps fell 0.2% and 0.04% respectively. Foreign institutions' net buying stood at QR72.22mn compared to QR66.99mn on Monday. Non-Qatari individual investors' net buying was QR8mn against QR3.6mn the previous day. Domestic institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR28.7mn compared with net buyers of QR12.63mn on Sunday. Qatari retail investors' net selling amounted to QR51.56mn against QR83.26mn the previous day. Total trading volume was up 3% to 9.17mn stocks, value by 2% to QR432.18mn and transactions by 7% to 5,030. The insurance sector's trading volume surged 78% to 0.32mn equities and value by 94% to QR22.28mn, while deals fell 8% to 128. The telecom sector saw its trading volume surge 74% to 1.27mn shares, value more than doubled to QR23.97mn and transactions gained 36% to 382. The market witnessed 39% expansion in real estate sector's trading volume to 3.36mn stocks but on more than doubled value to QR97.15mn and deals to 1,458. There was 39% rise in consumer goods sector's trading volume to 0.53mn equities; while value fell 11% to QR29.36mn. Transactions were up 3% to 320. However, transport sector's trading volume plummeted 67% to 0.38mn shares, value by 63% to QR11.62mn and deals by 33% to 196. The banks and financial services sector reported 20% plunge in trading volume to 2.28mn stocks, 13% in value to QR163.05mn and 18% in transactions to 1,420. The industrials sector's trading volume tanked 18% to 1.03mn equities, value by 17% to QR84.74mn and deals by 12% to 1,126. In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds. Saudi Arabia's telecom sector helped lift the bourse yesterday after Saudi Telecom Co (STC), its second biggest firm by market value, posted an earnings surge. Most other regional markets also gained. STC beat analysts' estimates as it made a net profit of 3.62bn riyals ( $965mn ), up from 393mn riyals in the prior-year period. Analysts on average forecast STC's profit would be 2.51bn riyals . Although the profit jump was mainly due a change in STC's method of accounting for an Indian unit, Saudi retail investors tend to look at headline numbers. Shares in STC jumped 5.5% to their highest since October 2008 . Kuwait -based NBK Capital , however, cut the stock to sell from hold yesterday. Petrochemical shares limited gains on the Saudi bourse as firms continued to post weaker-than-expected earnings. National Industrialisation (Tasnee) fell 2.2% after the firm reported a 24% rise in fourth-quarter net profit which stood at 300mn riyals . It missed the NCBC estimate of 448mn riyals and the market consensus of 413mn riyals . Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) slipped 2.2% to its lowest in January and extended declines since posting earnings that missed analysts' forecast. In Dubai , the bourse ended an eight-session winning streak in a bout of profit-taking. It slipped 0.1% to 3,665 points, coming off a five-year high. Elsewhere, Saudi index edged up 0.08% to 8,734 points, Kuwait index gained 0.2% to 7,756 points, Dubai index slipped 0.1% to 3,665 points, Abu Dhabi index gained 0.2% to 4,581 points, Egypt index rose 0.7% to 7,087 points, Oman index advanced 0.2% to 7,176 points and Bahrain index slipped 0.3% to 1,277 points.

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Source: Gulf Times (Qatar)

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