Notwithstanding the hints regarding a possible US rate cut, which came on Wednesday, and the upbeat Chinese manufacturing data, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE)

Gulf Times

remained bearish run with its key index losing as much as 127 points and market capitalisation melting more than QR4bn this week.

The telecom, transport and banking counters witnessed higher than average selling pressure as the 20-stock Qatar Index tanked 1.28% this week, which saw Qatar’s purchasing managers index find further improvement in the country’s non-energy private sector’s business environment.

The local retail investors were seen net profit takers in the main market this week which saw QNB completes $1bn Formosa bond issue.

The Gulf institutions turned bearish in the main bourse this week which saw United Development Company and Vodafone Qatar replace Baladna and Ezdan in the main barometer.

The Gulf individuals’ weakened net buying had its influence in the main bourse this week which saw Fitch upgrades Commercial Bank’s credit rating to ‘A’ with “stable” outlook.

The foreign retail investors’ lower net buying had its say in the main market this week which saw Capital Intelligence upgrade QIIB’s credit rating to ‘A+’ with “stable” outlook.

However, the domestic funds were seen increasingly into net buying in the main bourse this week which saw a total of 0.03mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.06mn trade across 17 deals.

The Arab institutions turned net sellers, albeit at lower levels in the main market this week which saw as many as 216 Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR2,160 change hands across five transactions.

The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the main market this week which saw the banks and real estate sectors together constitute more than 60% of the total trade volumes.

Market capitalisation eroded QR4.58bn or 0.8% to QR569.64bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.

Trade volumes and turnover were on the increase in the main market; whereas it was on the decline in the junior bourse this week which saw Qatar's ports witness brisk activities in the first quarter of 2024, auguring well for the logistics and allied services sectors.

The Total Return Index shed 0.66%, the All Share Index by 0.52% and the All Islamic Index by 0.56% this week which saw Qatar's hospitality sector see considerable improvement in room yield this February, amid double digit growth in visitor arrivals.

The telecom sector index plummeted 4.68%, transport (3.84%), banks and financial services (1.65%) and insurance (0.7%); while industrials gained 3.31%, real estate (2.82%) and consumer goods and services (0.81%) this week which saw Standard and Poor’s expect Mekdam Holding’s Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to expand to as much as QR60mn by 2025 from an estimated QR50mn this year; helping it to reduce debt-Ebitda ratio.

Major losers in the main market included Mekdam Holding, Commercial Bank, QIIB, Ahlibank Qatar, Medicare Group, Qatar Islamic Bank, Inma Holding, Mannai Corporation, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, United Development Company, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat and Milaha this week.

Nevertheless, Qatar German Medical Devices, Qamco, Industries Qatar, Al Meera, Al Faleh Educational Holding, Doha Bank, Lesha Bank, Alijarah Holding, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf International Services, Beema, Barwa and Mazaya Qatar were among the major movers in the main bourse. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week.

The Qatari individuals’ net selling increased substantially to QR94.79mn compared to QR41.07mn the week ended March 28.

The Gulf institutions were net profit takers to the tune of QR49mn against net buyers of QR5.79mn the previous week.

The Arab institutions turned net sellers to the extent of QR0.03mn compared with no major net exposure a week ago.

The Gulf individuals’ net buying weakened perceptibly to QR1.55mn against QR2.45mn the week ended March 28.

The foreign retail investors’ net buying shrank marginally to QR11.84mn compared to QR12.18mn the previous week.

The Arab individual investors’ net buying weakened marginally to QR0.6mn against QR1.11mn a week ago.

However, the domestic funds’ net buying strengthened drastically to QR129.99mn compared to QR21.91mn the week ended March 28.

The foreign institutions’ net profit booking declined noticeably to QR0.15mn against QR2.38mn the previous week.

The main market witnessed 8% jump in trade volumes to 740.26mn shares, 4% in value to QR2.31bn and 11% in deals to 77,838 this week.

In the venture market, trade volumes plunged 24% to 0.32mn equities, value by 22% to QR0.5mn and transactions by 16% to 51.