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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal, a postgraduate in Econometrics with an advance qualification in Capital Markets and Financial Services, is Gulf Times' journalist. His coverage areas are debt and equity, hydrocarbons, international trade, environment, banks, insurance and real estate. Previously, he was in New Delhi, India as Senior Finance Correspondent of PTI.
The strategy, which is in line with the Third Financial Sector Strategic Plan and as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, suggests creating incentives for financial institutions and capital market participants to issue sustainable products and promoting fintechs with positive environmental or social impact
Business
QCB's ESG strategy to make Doha a hub for sustainable finance innovation

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) on Wednesday unveiled its environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable strategy, which is aimed at making Doha a leading hub for sustainable finance innovation and capital mobilisation and ensuring financial sector resiliency to climate, environmental and social risks. The strategy, which is in line with the Third Financial Sector Strategic Plan and as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, suggests creating incentives for financial institutions and capital market participants to issue sustainable products and promoting fintechs with positive environmental or social impact. It is broadly based on three main pillars with the first pillar focusing on managing climate, environmental, and social risks in the financial sector; the second encouraging capital investments in sustainable finance and the third pillar aiming at incorporating ESG and sustainability practices into the QCB's internal operations. "We recognise the importance of integrating sustainability into our financial activities and we believe that sustainable development can only be achieved through effective partnerships between financial institutions and the society," HE Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani, QCB governor said in the report. The outcome of the first pillar is to establish climate, environmental and social risks awareness and management among banks and insurance companies and enhance transparency on the exposure of banks and insurers to climate, environmental and social related risks and opportunities. For making Qatar a leading hub for sustainable finance and capital mobilisation, the strategy seeks to diversify innovative sustainable products including digital solutions (fintech); strengthen the contribution of the financial sector in mobilising capital towards sustainable finance and boost transparency on the contribution of the financial sector to national sustainability objectives. Highlighting that a sustainable, globally-connected, central bank is resilient to climate, environmental and social risks; the QCB's ESG strategy seeks to broaden incorporation of climate, environmental and social considerations across its functions, leveraging international collaboration. Stressing that the outcome of each pillar will be achieved through a set of strategic initiatives, it said under the first pillar, the QCB called for prudential regulation on climate, environmental and social risks management applicable to banks and insurance companies and stress-test to assess climate risk for the banking industry. The strategic initiative also suggested publishing a dashboard summarising the exposure of banks to climate and environmental and social risks and the contribution of banks to the national sustainability objectives. The transparency of financial sector contribution to national sustainability objectives will be achieved through guidelines on the issuance of sustainable products (loans, bonds and sukuks) applicable to financial institutions and capital market participants. Specific outcomes have also been defined for each cross-cutting theme, it said, adding there was a need to establish industry taskforces to bring forward selected topics (taxonomy and sustainable capital markets) and develop a data repository platform to collect and aggregate relevant data for climate, environmental and social risks assessments. There was also a need to create QCB and industry-wide programmes to foster the development of sustainable finance and climate, environmental and social risks management capability, knowledge and talent for financial institutions and capital markets.

Buying interests, especially in the banking, telecom and insurance counters lifted the 20-stock Qatar Index 0.28% to 9,631.6 points on Tuesday, recovering from an intraday low of 9,607 points
Business
QSE sustains bull-run for ninth day; index gains 27 points, M-cap adds QR2.63bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Tuesday entered the ninth consecutive day of bull-run with its key index gaining more than 27 points, ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s .text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px; }@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;} } **media[165545]** meeting this week to decide on its key reference rate. Buying interests, especially in the banking, telecom and insurance counters lifted the 20-stock Qatar Index 0.28% to 9,631.6 points, recovering from an intraday low of 9,607 points. The Arab retail investors turned bullish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated further to 11.07%. As much as 55% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR2.63bn or 0.47% to QR560.05bn on the back of microcap segments. The foreign institutions’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main market, which saw 0.02mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Doha Bank) valued at QR0.14mn trade across 10 deals. The Gulf institutions’ lower net profit booking also had its say in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The domestic funds continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Islamic index was seen declining vis-à-vis gains in the other indices in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase. The Total Return Index gained 0.28% and the All Share Index by 0.36%, while the All Islamic Index was down 0.01% in the main market. The banks and financial services sector index rose 0.73%, telecom (0.41%), insurance (0.35%), industrials (0.13%) and consumer goods and services (0.02%); while transport and realty declined 0.58% and 0.22% respectively. Major movers included Widam Food, Qatari German Medical Devices, Ahlibank Qatar, Mannai Corporation, QNB and Ezdan. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value. Nevertheless, Milaha, Qatari Investors Group, Al Khaleej Takaful, Al Meera, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Lesha Bank and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding were among the losers in the main bourse. The Arab individuals were net buyers to the tune ofQR3.21mn compared with net sellers of QR7.03mn on June 11. The foreign institutions’ net selling declined noticeably to QR12.01mn against QR20.8mn the previous day. The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking eased markedly to QR4.99mn compared to QR5.67mn on Monday. However, the Qatari individuals’ net selling grew perceptibly to QR14.12mn against QR12.02mn on June 10. The foreign individuals turned net sellers to the extent of QR0.31mn compared with net buyers of QR0.65mn the previous day. The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking grew marginally to QR0.14mn against QR0.01mn on Monday. The domestic institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR28.35mn compared to QR44.88mn on June 10. The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the ninth straight session. Trade volumes in the main market were up 9% to 165.05mn shares, value by 4% to QR408.22mn and transactions by 2% to 14,943. In the venture market, trade volumes more than doubled to 0.13mn equities and value doubled to QR0.2mn on 77% jump in deals to 23.

Zeyad al-Jaidah and Abdulla al-Ansari, founders of Techno Q, outline the company's future plans. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Business
Techno Q aspires to be leading ICT solutions provider in Middle East; aims QR1bn turnover

Qatar Electronic Systems Company (Techno Q), which will soon be listed on the venture market of the Qatar Stock Exchange, is aiming to be QR1bn turnover entity as it seeks to expand domestic operations in cloud migration and cyber security; while planning foray into emerging markets and strengthening operations in Saudi Arabia as well as exploring options on joint ventures and acquisitions.The company, which seeks to maintain its position as leading ICT (information, communication and technology) solutions in the Middle East, has already initiated discussions with liquidity providers as it gets listed on June 26 and is open to seek credit rating as it has also got long term plans to get listed in Saudi Arabia, where it finds immense potential."We are expanding our operations in Qatar into other (related) services as well into IT (information technology), cloud migration and cybersecurity," Zeyad al-Jaidah, Techno Q managing director and one of the founder members, told Gulf Times.It is increasing efforts on the group’s expansion strategy to neighbouring markets, mainly Saudi Arabia, where the group established a 100% owned subsidiary at the beginning of 2023 to focus on AV, ELV and hospitality related projects, as well as Oman, where the group holds 98% equity interest in QIS to focus on similar projects in this neighbouring country.On the expected turnover in the medium to long term, Abdulla al-Ansari, Techno Q executive director and co-founder, confirmed that the company is eyeing QR1bn in the next five years."If we expand service-wise and geographically, hopefully we can reach our aspiration (of QR1bn turnover)," he said.In 2023, the company reported revenues of QR269.4mn at a compound annual growth rate of 17.1% over the past three years, and net income of QR19.7mn. As per its listing prospectus, revenues were QR330.92mn in 2022 with a vast majority of it coming from projects.Over its 28 years of operations, the group’s portfolio include the design and execution of cutting-edge race electronics for a premier international racing competition in Qatar, the creation and setup of sophisticated security access control systems for a number of football stadiums for a globally recognized sporting event, and the supply and installation of a comprehensive CCTV and Access Control Systems for Qatar’s largest hospital."The growth is in technology because it must be upgraded every five years roughly. So this is going to be continuous," al-Jaidah said.Highlighting its plans to expand into cloud migration, al-Ansari said the trend now is that first move to the cloud, then once you are on the cloud, there are lots of associated services in terms of security, in terms of applications and so on."Asked whether the company has inorganic plans to grow; al-Jaidah said "we are actually now, as we speak, also looking into this possibility in order to grow a little bit faster, to try to acquire small companies and make a jump."Asked about the potential acquisition, he said it has hired a consultant to start looking at acquisition in the region. He said the company is also open to forming a joint venture with companies that are not small."So, we are looking at all possibilities to jumpstart our expansion... These will jumpstart our presence in the market instead of starting from scratch, hiring a team and doing that, these services from scratch," he said.Asked how the potential acquisition would be funded, he said "we have cash reserves as well. So, we can utilise part of that for acquisitions."On listing, al-Jaidah said it will help enhance its visibility in the corporate world and "we don't need the money to expand... So we are not under that pressure."

Prof Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, vice-chairman of Bait Al Mashura.
Business
Islamic finance assets in Qatar touch QR656bn in 2023: Bait Al Mashura

Islamic finance assets in Qatar grew 3.3% year-on-year to QR656bn in 2023, of which Islamic banks accounted for 87.6 % of the total and sukuk for 11.1%, according to Bait Al Mashura, a leading domestic Shariah-principled financial consultancy firm.The assets of Islamic banks grew 3.6% on an annualised basis to QR563.7bn in 2023 with financing witnessing a marginal increase of 0.6% to QR382.7bn, the firm said in its latest report."The Islamic finance has several promising prospects for the growth that are underlying in its continuous expansion, and accelerated development in terms of environment and penetration of new ecosystems," Prof Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, the vice-chairman of Bait Al Mashura, said in the report.Islamic financial sector in Qatar is diverse, and comprises Islamic banks, takaful companies, Islamic finance firms and Islamic investment companies, in addition to Islamic finance products represented in Islamic sukuk, investment funds, and indices.Total deposits declined 1.4% year-on-year to QR313.4bn in 2023 with private sector deposits constituting 59% of the total in the review period.In the takaful sector, the assets of insurers reached QR4.2bn, which however fell 5.9% year-on-year; policyholders’ assets were valued at QR2.2bn (a decline of 3.6%). Insurance subscriptions exceeded QR1.4bn, an increase of 8.8% on an annualised basis.In the case of Islamic finance companies, their assets were QR2.5bn, a marginal increase by 0.8%. Financing provided by these companies increased by 4.8% to QR1.8bn, and revenues reached QR241.8bn, increasing by 7.7%.In Islamic investment companies, the assets of the two such companies grew by 2.7% to QR522.3mn, and their revenues were QR41.4mn, which fell 33.5%, and their profits reached QR5.9mn in the review period.Sukuk issued by Islamic banks increased by 86.6% to QR4.2bn; while those issued by Qatar Central Bank was valued at QR7.7bn, which showed an increase of 42.8% year-on-year.The assets of Islamic investment funds exceeded QR942mn, increasing by 4.1%, and their performance varied during the year, the report said.In Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), the Al Rayan Islamic index increased by 3.76%, and the performance of the shares of listed Islamic finance companies varied between an increase of 29% and a decrease of 16%.At the macroeconomic level, the growth returned to its norm during 2023 leveraging from the event legacy resulting in modern infrastructure and tourism, it said, highlighting that as per estimation, Qatari economy grew by 1.8%.Expansion in North Field resulted in a financial surplus, in addition to enhancing services, logistic, industrial, and trade and finance sectors as indirect results, it added.

The Arab individuals were seen net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.4% to 9,570.69 points on Sunday, although it touched an intraday high of 9,576 points
Business
QSE enters seventh day of bull-run as index inches towards 9,600 levels

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Sunday opened the week on a stronger note for the seventh straight session with its key index gaining more than 38 points on buying interests,.text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[165545]**especially in the transport, industrials and telecom sectors.The Arab individuals were seen net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.4% to 9,570.69 points, although it touched an intraday high of 9,576 points.The Gulf retail investors turned bullish, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 11.63%.About 52% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR2.19bn or 0.4% to QR555.22bn on the back of microcap segments.The foreign institutions’ substantially lower net profit booking had its influence in the main market, which saw 0.03mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.16mn trade across 18 deals.The domestic institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The local retail investors were seen increasingly into net profit booking in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the main barometer in the main bourse, whose trade turnover declined amidst higher volumes.The Total Return Index gained 0.4%, the All Share Index by 0.35% and the All Islamic Index by 0.27% in the main market.The transport sector index shot up 1.54%, industrials (0.62%), telecom (0.51%), real estate (0.18%) and banks and financial services (0.14%); while consumer goods and services declined 0.35% and insurance 0.05%.Major movers included Doha Insurance, Widam Food, Nakilat, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Gulf Warehousing, Mekdam Holding and Industries Qatar.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, QLM, Beema and Salam International Investment were among the losers in the main bourse. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The Arab individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.35mn against net sellers of QR5.64mn on June 6.The Gulf individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR0.41mn compared with net profit takers of QR4.81mn last Thursday.The Gulf funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.69mn against net sellers of QR12.65mn the previous trading day.The foreign institutions’ net profit booking declined significantly to QR10.3mn compared to QR60.22mn on June 6.The foreign individual investors’ net selling weakened noticeably to QR3.58mn against QR9.24mn last Thursday.However, the Qatari individuals’ net selling strengthened markedly to QR25.96mn compared to QR2.12mn the previous trading day.The domestic institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR37.4mn against QR94.67mn on June 6.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the sixth straight session.Trade volumes in the main market were up 4% to 162.93mn shares, while value shrank 9% to QR386.7mn and transactions by 15% to 12,226.In the venture market, trade volumes jumped almost six-fold to 0.11mn equities and value grew six-fold to QR0.18mn on almost six-fold growth in deals to 17.

QSE
Business
Techno Q to begin QEVM trading on June 26

Qatar Electronic Systems Company (Techno Q) – a leading systems integrator specialising in audiovisual, lighting systems and business solutions – is all set to start trading.text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[165545]**on the Qatar Stock Exchange’s Venture Market (QEVM) from June 26.The listing, which comes as part of the group’s strategic growth plans and to enhance its brand and market position, has received confirmation from the QSE.With the listing of Techno Q, the number of companies listed on the QEVM will become two. Since its inception, the junior bourse has seen listing of three entities, the two of which later got shifted to the main market."As a homegrown Qatari company, we are pleased to be a fixture on the country’s dynamic and evolving economic landscape, one which embraces innovation and recognises the value of digitisation. Our core values and commitment to excellence remain steadfast and we look forward to strengthening our legacy right across the region,” said Zeyad al-Jaidah, managing director and co-founder of Techno Q.As many as 84.5mn shares will be listed through direct listing (without offering shares for public subscription). The shares of Techno Q will be listed with the symbol "TQES".The reference price for the share has been set at QR2.9 (including premium of QR1.9), based on the documents submitted by the company. Market capitalisation is QR245.05mn at listing valuation.On the first day of listing, the company’s price will be floated, while from the second day, the price will be allowed to fluctuate by 10%, up or down, as is the case for other companies listed on the market.On the date of listing and up to one year post listing, the founders are allowed to trade no more than 30% of their shares so that the tradable shares in the first year after listing shall not exceed 40% of the total issued and paid-up capital."As the country experiences rapid growth and digital transformation, Techno Q is also expanding and developing its offering as we look to serve world-class clients right across the Middle East and beyond. We are looking forward to a bright future as a publicly owned entity which operates with integrity and agility,” said Abdulla al-Ansari, executive director and co-founder of Techno Q.The listing advisor was Consulting Haus, the domestic legal adviser Sharq Law Firm, global legal adviser Eversheds Sutherland (International) and financial evaluator Deloitte and Touche, Qatar branch.Techno Q was established in Qatar in 1996 operating in the AV, hospitality and lighting segment through its own operation and in the ELV and security systems segment through its fully owned subsidiary Techno Q Security Systems.

Gulf Times
Business
AM Best affirms Qatar Islamic Insurance's credit ratings

International insurance rating agency AM Best has affirmed Qatar Islamic Insurance Group's financial strength rating at 'A- (Excellent)' and the long-term issuer credit rating at “a-” (Excellent) with "stable" outlook.The ratings reflect the insurer's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as "very strong", as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.Qatar Islamic Insurance is a takaful insurer and operates through a hybrid model, whereby the shareholders’ fund charges the policyholders’ fund (PHF) a Wakala fee based on gross written contributions (GWC) and a Mudaraba fee based on investment income.The insurance company’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR).The rating agency assesses the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation on a combined basis, including its policyholders’ and shareholders’ funds, due to the strength of domestic regulation and requirement that the shareholders’ fund would have to support the PHF.Other positive factors include the company’s track record of internal capital generation through the retention of earnings and its ability to accumulate surpluses within the PHF whilst distributing surplus back to policyholders.In 2023, it saw capital and surplus of QR702.8mn (including QR173mn of accumulated policyholder surplus), a 0.3% year-on-year increase.While maintaining sufficient liquidity to support its insurance operations, Qatar Islamic Insurance's investment portfolio carries exposure to higher risk real estate assets and investments in associates, which accounted for 37.8% of its total investments as at year-end 2023.The insurer's operating performance as strong on robust consistent technical performance with a five-year (2019-23) weighted average combined ratio of 72%, AM Best said.Whilst a small component of overall earnings, investment returns have continued to be positive in each of the past five years, it added.The company has good diversification by line of business, offering a range of Shariah-compliant insurance products. In 2023, Qatar Islamic Insurance wrote GWC of QR523.5mn.

The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index surged 2.29% this week
Qatar
Domestic funds lift QSE 213 points; M-cap gains QR11.19bn

Expectations of rate cut by Federal Reserve as well as the Bank of Canada, the European Central Bank, and the Central Bank of Denmark's decision to cut the policy rates .text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px; }@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;} } **media[183041]** had their reflection on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which saw its index gain 213 points and capitalisation enhance in excess of QR11bn this week. The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index surged 2.29% this week which saw Qatar's purchasing managers’ index in May 2024 find that non-energy private sector signalled strongest improvement since September 2023. The consumer goods and transport counters witnessed higher than average demand this week which saw Nakilat to up its stake in Qatar Shipyard Technologies by 20%. The Gulf institutions’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main market this week which saw Moody's, an international credit rating agency, affirm Qatar Electricity & Water Company's 'A1' long-term issuer ratings. More than 67% of the traded constituents extend gains in the main bourse this week which saw Qatar's maritime sector saw brisk business year-on-year this May with more vessels calling on Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports, leading to higher cargoes, container handling, vehicles and livestock through the three ports. The foreign institutions’ lower net selling had its say in the main market this week which saw strong inflows of visitors -- especially from the Americas, Europe and the Gulf regions – reflect in an overall improved room yield in the country's hospitality sector as average room rate and occupancy grew this April. However, the local retail investors were seen net sellers this week which saw a total of 1.46mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR3.16mn trade across 120 deals. The Arab individuals turned bearish in the main bourse which saw as many as 0.03mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.28mn change hands across 41 transactions. The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main market this week which saw the consumer goods and banks together constitute about 57% of the total trade volumes. Market capitalisation shot up QR11.19bn or 2.07% to QR553.03bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. Trade turnover and volumes were on the decline in the main market this week which saw no trading of treasury bills. In the case of venture market, trade turnover and volumes were also on the decrease this week, which saw Techno Q announce its listing date as June 26. The Total Return Index zoomed 2.29%, the All Share Index by 2.07% and the All Islamic Index by 1.81% this week. The consumer goods and sector index soared 7.68%, transport (3.79%), industrials (1.7%), banks and financial services (1.51%), realty (1%) and telecom (0.97%); while insurance declined 0.49% this week. Major gainers in the main market this week included Al Meera, Ahlibank Qatar, Woqod, Medicare Group, Nakilat, Qatar Islamic Bank, QNB, Dlala, Salam International Investments, Industries Qatar, Qamco and Ooredoo. Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Gulf Warehousing, Doha Insurance, Estithmar Holding, Qatari Investors Group, Qatar Oman Investment and Milaha were among the losers in the main bourse. In the venture, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week. The domestic funds’ net buying grew considerably to QR402.12mn compared to QR228.37mn the week ended May 30. The foreign institutions’ net selling declined significantly to QR234.32mn against QR351.1mn the previous week. The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking shrank perceptibly to QR81.77mn compared to QR88.89mn a week ago. However, the local individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR48.32mn against net buyers of QR168.32mn the week ended May 30. The Arab retail investors turned net sellers to the extent of QR21.71mn compared with net buyers of QR27.09mn the previous week. The foreign individual investors were net profit takers to the tune of QR10.66mn against net buyers of QR10.66mn a week ago. The Gulf retail investors turned net sellers to the extent of QR5.34mn compared with net buyers of QR4.35mn the week ended May 30. The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net buyers to the tune of QR1.21mn the previous week. The main market witnessed 17% contraction in trade volumes to 728.37mn shares, 30% in value to QR2.2bn and 15% in deals to 78,572 this week. In the venture market, trade volumes zoomed plummeted 69% to 0.3mn equities, value by 70% to QR0.48mn and transactions by 41% to 44.

The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.29% to 9,491.46 points on Wednesday, recovering from an intraday low of 9,465 points
Business
Bulls tighten grip on QSE as index gains 28 points; M-cap adds QR1.74bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Wednesday kept up the bullish momentum for the fifth consecutive day and its key index gained as much as 28 points..text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[165545]**The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.29% to 9,491.46 points, recovering from an intraday low of 9,465 points.The industrials and insurance counters witnessed higher than average demand in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated further to 12.36%.The foreign individuals were seen bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR1.74bn or 0.32% to QR550.34bn on account of midcap segments.The Gulf retail investors’ weakened net profit booking had its marginal influence in the main market, which saw 0.07mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.19mn trade across 24 deals.However, the foreign funds were seen increasingly net sellers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Gulf institutions were also increasingly bearish in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the main barometer in the main bourse, whose trade turnover grew amidst lower volumes.The Total Return Index gained 0.29%, the All Share Index by 0.31% and the All Islamic Index by 0.24% in the main market.The industrials sector index shot up 1.1%, insurance (0.51%), consumer goods and services (0.21%), telecom (0.13%) and banks and financial services (0.08%); while real estate declined 0.23% and transport was unchanged.Major gainers in the main market included Industries Qatar, Al Meera, Meeza, Qatar Insurance, Lesha Bank and Qatari German Medical Devices.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Doha Insurance, Qatar Oman Investment, Gulf Warehousing and Alijarah Holding were among the losers in the main bourse. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net buying increased drastically to QR113.55mn compared to QR71.68mn on June 4.The foreign individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.77mn against net sellers of QR0.92mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking eased marginally to QR0.05mn compared to QR0.07mn on Tuesday.However, the foreign funds’ net selling strengthened significantly to QR73.36mn against QR49.55mn on June 4.The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking expanded considerably to QR22.56mn compared to QR9.95mn the previous day.The Qatari individual investors’ net selling shot up substantially to QR15.89mn against QR8.85mn on Tuesday.The Arab retail investors’ net selling rose perceptibly to QR3.36mn compared to QR2.34mn on June 4.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the fourth straight session.Trade volumes in the main market were down 3% to 151.5mn shares, while value grew 3% to QR502.73mn despite 6% lower transactions at 17,321.The venture market witnessed a 36% contraction in trade volumes to 0.07mn equities, 39% in value to QR0.11mn and 35% in deals to 11.

Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, QFC Authority Chief Executive Officer.
Business
Qatar's non-energy private sector signals strongest improvement since September 2023

The upturn in Doha's non-energy private sector gained notable momentum this May with output and new orders increasing at the fastest rates since the third quarter of 2023, according to the Qatar Financial Centre's purchasing managers index (PMI).The latest PMI survey data from the QFC compiled by S&P Global found companies continued to expand employment and the 12-month outlook improved. Inflationary pressures remained muted, with input prices broadly unchanged and output charges up only modestly since April, it said.All four broad sectors posted quicker expansions, led again by wholesale and retail and services. Although new business growth strengthened, companies were still able to reduce the volume of outstanding work during the month."The May results clearly indicate that the non-energy private sector has moved up a gear as we approach the halfway point of 2024," said Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, QFC Authority chief executive officer.The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 450 private sector companies, which span manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors and reflect the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data.The headline PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of non-energy private sector performance. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.The PMI registered 53.6 in May, up from 52 in April, rising further above the no-change mark of 50 and signalling the strongest improvement in business conditions in the non-energy private sector economy since last September.It was also above the long-run trend level of 52.3 (since April 2017). The 1.6-point increase in the PMI was among the largest registered over the past two years.The latest data signalled growing demand momentum in the non-energy economy. The level of incoming new work expanded at the sharpest rate in eight months, and faster than the long-run survey trend.Companies often mentioned that their reputations for high-quality products and services had attracted new clients.The accelerated increase in new business wins in May generated the fastest growth in total business activity since last August.Highlighting the strengthened confidence in the next 12 months, it said increasing optimism among non-energy private sector companies was linked to development plans and marketing campaigns, plus the introduction of new high-quality products and services.Faster growth of output and new orders was reflected in another increase in employment, it said, adding hiring activity was linked to company development goals, including efforts to speed up the delivery of high-quality services and to gain staff experienced in new technologies.Demand for inputs rose in May, as purchasing activity increased at the second-fastest rate in ten months.Lead times continued to improve, however, as firms reported building supplier relationships. Input stocks fell for the fifth time in six months as output growth accelerated.Cost pressures were broadly stable as average purchase prices declined, offsetting higher wages. Prices charged for goods and services increased for the second time in the past seven months, but at a slower rate than the previous hike in March.Qatari financial services companies recorded much faster growth in volumes of total business activity and new contracts in May.The seasonally adjusted Financial Services Business Activity and New Business Indexes rose to 12- and eight-month highs of 60.9 and 59.1, respectively, well above the equivalent indices for the non-energy private sector as a whole.Companies were increasingly optimistic regarding the 12-month outlook, with confidence the highest since last July 2023. Meanwhile, employment growth was maintained for the 14th successive month.

The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.25% to 9,408.52 points on Monday, recovering from an intraday low of 9,386 points
Business
Hopes on US rate cut lift QSE sentiments as index gains 23 points

Renewed hopes of interest rates cuts in the US were seen reflecting in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which on Mondays saw a rollercoaster ride before settling more than 23 points higher..text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[165545]**The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.25% to 9,408.52 points, recovering from an intraday low of 9,386 points.The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 13.13%.However, about 61% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR0.89bn or 0.16% to QR546.22bn on account of microcap segments.The Gulf institutions were increasingly into net profit booking in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Arab retail investors were also seen increasingly bearish in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the main barometer in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The Total Return Index gained 0.25%, the All Share Index by 0.16% and the All Islamic Index by 0.17% in the main market.The telecom sector index gained 0.64%, banks and financial services (0.34%), real estate (0.17%), industrials (0.07%) and consumer goods and services (0.04%); while insurance declined 0.91% and transport 0.3%.Major gainers in the main market included Medicare Group, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Qatar Islamic Bank, Ooredoo and Barwa.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatari German Medical Devices, Lesha Bank, Estithmar Holding, QIIB, Salam International Investment, Meeza, Al Faleh Educational Holding and Gulf Warehousing. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net buying increased drastically to QR105.43mn compared to QR16.79mn on June 2.The foreign individual investors’ net profit booking eased perceptibly to QR0.46mn against QR1.8mn the previous day.However, the foreign funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR63.06mn compared with net buyers of QR11.86mn on Sunday.The Gulf institutions’ net selling strengthened noticeably to QR25.13mn against QR11.5mn on June 2.The Qatari individuals’ net profit booking grew marginally to QR10.86mn compared to QR10.48mn the previous day.The Arab retail investors’ net selling also expanded marginally to QR5.35mn against QR5mn on Sunday.The Gulf individual investors were net sellers to the extent of QR0.55mn compared with net buyers of QR0.14mn on June 2.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the second straight session.Trade volumes in the main market were up 7% to 136.36mn shares, value by 22% to QR429.28mn and transactions by 17% to 15,394.The venture market witnessed a 33% contraction in trade volumes to 0.04mn equities, 40% in value to QR0.06mn and 14% in deals to 6.

The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.25% to 9,408.52 points on Monday, recovering from an intraday low of 9,386 points
Business
Hopes on US rate cut lift QSE sentiments as index gains 23 points

Renewed hopes of interest rates cuts in the US were seen reflecting in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which on Monday saw a rollercoaster ride before settling more than 23 points higher.The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.25% to 9,408.52 points, recovering from an intraday low of 9,386 points.The domestic institutions were seen increasingly net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 13.13%.However, about 61% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR0.89bn or 0.16% to QR546.22bn on account of microcap segments.The foreign institutions turned net sellers in the main market, which saw 0.85mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.32mn trade across 19 deals.The Gulf institutions were increasingly into net profit booking in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Arab retail investors were also seen increasingly bearish in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the main barometer in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The Total Return Index gained 0.25%, the All Share Index by 0.16% and the All Islamic Index by 0.17% in the main market.The telecom sector index gained 0.64%, banks and financial services (0.34%), real estate (0.17%), industrials (0.07%) and consumer goods and services (0.04%); while insurance declined 0.91% and transport 0.3%.Major gainers in the main market included Medicare Group, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Qatar Islamic Bank, Ooredoo and Barwa.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatari German Medical Devices, Lesha Bank, Estithmar Holding, QIIB, Salam International Investment, Meeza, Al Faleh Educational Holding and Gulf Warehousing. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net buying increased drastically to QR105.43mn compared to QR16.79mn on June 2.The foreign individual investors’ net profit booking eased perceptibly to QR0.46mn against QR1.8mn the previous day.However, the foreign funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR63.06mn compared with net buyers of QR11.86mn on Sunday.The Gulf institutions’ net selling strengthened noticeably to QR25.13mn against QR11.5mn on June 2.The Qatari individuals’ net profit booking grew marginally to QR10.86mn compared to QR10.48mn the previous day.The Arab retail investors’ net selling also expanded marginally to QR5.35mn against QR5mn on Sunday.The Gulf individual investors were net sellers to the extent of QR0.55mn compared with net buyers of QR0.14mn on June 2.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the second straight session.Trade volumes in the main market were up 7% to 136.36mn shares, value by 22% to QR429.28mn and transactions by 17% to 15,394.The venture market witnessed a 33% contraction in trade volumes to 0.04mn equities, 40% in value to QR0.06mn and 14% in deals to 6.

Qatar's maritime sector saw brisk business year-on-year in May with more vessels calling on Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports, leading to higher cargoes, container handling, vehicles and livestock through the three ports, according to the official data.
Business
Qatar ports see brisk movement of cargoes, containers, RORO and livestock in May

Qatar's maritime sector saw brisk business year-on-year this May with more vessels calling on Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports, leading to higher cargoes, container handling, vehicles (RORO) and livestock through the three ports, according to the official data.The positive momentum in the ports reflects the optimistic outlook, especially for the country’s non-energy private sector, as indicated by the latest purchasing managers’ index of the Qatar Financial Centre.The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 242 in May 2024, which saw 6.61% and 26.04% increase year-on-year and month-on-month respectively.Hamad Port, whose strategic geographical location offers opportunities to create cargo movement towards the upper Gulf, supporting countries such as Kuwait and Iraq and south towards Oman, saw as many as 129 vessels call (excluding military) in the review period.A total of 1,081 ships had called on the three ports during January-May this year.The general and bulk cargo handled through the three ports surged 158.19% on an annualised basis to 213,492 freight tonnes in May 2024. However, it was seen declining 9.32% month-on-month in May 2024.Hamad Port – whose multi-use terminal is designed to serve the supply chains for the RORO, grains and livestock – handled 136,716 freight tonnes of breakbulk and 52,654 freight tonnes of bulk in May 2024.A total of 816,274 freight tonnes of general and bulk cargoes were handled by the three ports during the first five months of this year.The container handling through the three ports saw 29.6% and 41.98% year-on-year and month-on-month jump respectively to 123,530 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in May this year.The container terminals have been designed to address the increasing trade volume, enhance ease of doing business and support economic diversification, which is one of the most vital goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.Hamad Port, which is the largest eco-friendly project in the region and internationally recognised as one of the largest green ports in the world, saw 122,238 TEUs this May.The container volume at the three ports totalled 562,099 TEUs during January-May 2024.The three ports handled 10,632 RORO (vehicles) in May 2024, which registered 71.1% and 1.92% growth year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in May 2024.Hamad Port alone handled 10,610 units this May. A total of 40,264 RORO units were handled by three ports during January-May 2024.Qatar's automobile sector has been witnessing stronger sales, especially in heavy equipment, private motorcycles and private vehicles, according to the latest data of the National Planning Council.The three ports were seen handling 58,374 livestock in May 2024, which showed 19.3% and 198.24% surge on yearly and monthly basis respectively. As many as 299,342 livestock heads were handled by three ports during the first five months of this year.The building materials traffic through the three ports stood at 40,094 tonnes this May, which declined 35.8% year-on-year but shot up 67.53% month-on-month.As much as 206,911 tonnes of building materials were handled by Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports during January-May this year.

Foreign funds were seen bullish as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.71% to 9,385.45 points Sunday, although it touched an intraday high of 9,452 points
Business
Foreign funds propel QSE as index gains 65 points; M-cap adds QR3.49bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Sunday opened the week on a stronger note with key index gaining as much as 65 points on the back of buying interests, especially in the consumer.text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[165545]**goods and transport counters.Foreign funds were seen bullish as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.71% to 9,385.45 points, although it touched an intraday high of 9,452 points.The Gulf retail investors were seen net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 13.34%.More than 63% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR3.49bn or 0.64% to QR545.33bn on account of small cap segments.The Gulf institutions’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main market, which saw 0.03mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.12mn trade across 20 deals.The domestic institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The local retail investors were seen net sellers in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The Total Return Index gained 0.71%, the All Share Index by 0.59% and the All Islamic Index by 0.45% in the main market.The consumer goods and services sector index tanked 4.02%, transport (1.31%), banks and financial services (0.5%) and real estate (0.25%); while insurance declined 1%, industrials (0.13%) and telecom (0.01%).Major gainers in the main market included Woqod, Ahlibank Qatar, Nakilat, Medicare Group, Dlala, Lesha Bank and Qatari German Medical Devices. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Milaha, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Al Khaleej Takaful, Qatar Insurance, Gulf International Services and Widam Food were among the shakers in the main bourse.The foreign funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR11.86mn compared with net sellers of QR105.83mn on May 30.The Gulf individual investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.14mn against net sellers of QR0.6mn last Thursday.The Gulf institutions’ net selling declined substantially to QR11.5mn compared to QR62.61mn the previous trading day.However, the Qatari individuals turned net profit takers to the tune of QR10.48mn against net buyers of QR58.89mn on May 30.The Arab retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR5mn compared with net buyers of QR1.17mn last Thursday.The foreign individuals turned net profit takers to the tune of QR1.8mn against net buyers of QR6mn the previous trading day.The domestic institutions’ net buying weakened drastically to QR16.79mn compared to QR102.71mn on May 30.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net buyers to the extent of QR0.27mn last Thursday.Trade volumes in the main market plummeted 63% to 127.08mn shares, value by 75% to QR352.91mn and transactions by 51% to 13,191.The venture market witnessed flat trade volumes at 0.06mn equities and value at QR0.1mn despite 46% lower deals at 7.

Gulf Times
Business
QCB readies infrastructure for Central Bank Digital Currency project

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has developed the infrastructure for the much-touted Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, which represents an important milestone and a strategic step towards building a digital economy in the country.The project, which will enter its first experimental phase extending to October 2024, aims to achieve a set of primary objectives, including leveraging artificial intelligence technologies, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and emerging technologies and establish a strong foundation to enhance liquidity by expanding participation in financial market facilities, considering the aspects related to information security during project implementation."The results of this experiment will be the cornerstone towards identifying the different use cases that the QCB will adopt in the future, which will contribute to enhancing the efficiency of the current systems and instant settlement," the central bank said.After successfully completing the comprehensive study conducted in this field, the QCB will proceed with testing and developing selected applications for the CBDC to settle large payments with a group of local and international banks in a trial environment designed according to the latest advanced technologies.The project will focus on the applications of the CBDC to increase access to capital markets for operating banks in the country, enhance domestic settlement, and improve the efficiency of securities transactions.The move by QCB comes in line with the Third Financial Sector Strategy, the Fintech Strategy, and Qatar National Vision 2030, and based on its ongoing efforts to regulate and develop the financial sector in the country.A CBDC is a country's fiat currency in digital form and is managed by the central bank. Various reports indicate that trade regions like the Middle-East are uniquely positioned to take advantage of CBDC as energy and global trade trends shift.At the recently concluded Qatar Economic Forum, Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani, QCB governor, had said "we are in the foundation stage and evaluating the pros and cons of issuing the CBDC."The QCB is keen to keep pace with the digital transformations witnessed by the financial and banking sector both regionally and globally, confirming the necessity of investing in modern technologies, which aims to build a pioneering system that adopts emerging technologies to accelerate the pace of digital transformation in line with the Third National Development Strategy 2024-30, according to it.Most countries are still in the research and development stage, but a few have already started trials and have gone beyond the stages of development, according to reports.According to reports by the Atlantic Council, 87 countries are taking initiatives to create a CBDC. This accounts for more than 90% of the global GDP (gross domestic product). As the popularity of digital currencies is increasing, the global finance sector is preparing for a transformation.In the Gulf region, as part of its 2023-26 strategy, the UAE Central Bank is preparing to launch its digital currency. In May 2021, the Central Bank of Bahrain started collaboration with JP Morgan and Bank ABC to develop a cross border digital currency settlement pilot programme.The QCB reaffirms its continuous commitment to introducing distinguished and valuable initiatives that will help create a conducive environment for the growth of the financial sector, stimulate the widespread adoption of emerging technologies, and promote technological innovations across various fields.

Gulf Times
Business
US concerns drag QSE 243 points; M-cap erodes QR11.44bn

Uncertainty over Federal Reserve's stand on interest rate and the US inflation data had their dampening effect on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which saw its key index .text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px; }@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;} } **media[183041]** plummet 243 points and market capitalisation erode more than QR11bn this week. The foreign institutions’ increased net selling led the 20-stock Qatar Index plummet 2.54% this week which saw the Qatar Central Bank launch "Express Sandbox", the first of its kind in the Middle East. The real estate and consumer goods counters witnessed higher than average selling pressure this week which saw Aamal Company enter into agreement with Masraf Al Rayan to purchase the latter's 50% stake in Ci San Trading, a joint venture, for QR32mn. The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly net profit takers in the main market this week which saw Standard and Poor’s confirm Doha Insurance’s ‘A-‘ rating with stable outlook. About 79% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse this week which saw Qatari German Company for Medical Devices enter into a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies to collaborate in the development of smart healthcare solutions. However, the domestic funds were increasingly net buyers in the main market this week which saw Commercial Bank Financial Services to commence the liquidity provisioning for Doha Bank and its exchange traded fund QETF from next week. The local retail investors were increasingly bullish this week which saw a total of 0.56mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR1.24mn trade across 51 deals. The Arab individuals were seen increasingly net buyers in the main bourse which saw as many as 0.02mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.17mn change hands across 19 transactions. The Islamic index was seen declining faster than the other indices in the main market this week which saw the banks and industrials sectors together constitute more than 58% of the total trade volumes. Market capitalisation eroded QR11.44bn or 2.07% to QR541.84bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase in both the main market this week which saw no trading of treasury bills. In the case of venture market, trade turnover and volumes were on the rise this week. The Total Return Index tanked 2.54%, the All Share Index by 2.19% and the All Islamic Index by 3.17% this week. The realty sector index plunged 6.21%, consumer goods and services (5.94%), transport (2.38%), banks and financial services (2%), industrials (1.29%) and telecom (0.65%), while insurance gained 0.34% this week. Major losers in the main market included Qatari German Medical Devices, Woqod, United Development Company, Medicare Group, Masraf Al Rayan, Commercial Bank, Ahlibank Qatar, QIIB, Dukhan Bank, Qatar Oman Investment, Alijarah Holding, Salam International Investment, Meeza, Baladna, Industries Qatar, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco, Barwa and Nakilat. In the venture market, Al Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week. Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Vodafone Qatar, Al Meera and Qatar Electricity and Water were among the gainers in the main bourse this week. The foreign funds’ net selling increased substantially to QR351.1mn compared to QR126.17mn the week ended May 23. The Gulf institutions’ net selling strengthened significantly to QR88.89mn against QR28.62mn the previous week. However, the domestic institutions’ net buying grew considerably to QR228.37mn compared to QR113.4mn a week ago. The Qatari individuals’ net buying expanded drastically to QR168.32mn against QR29.81mn the week ended May 23. The Arab retail investors’ net buying soared noticeably to QR27.09mn compared to QR3.47mn the previous week. The foreign individual investors’ net buying shot up markedly to QR10.66mn against QR7.1mn a week ago. The Gulf retail investors were net buyers to the tune of QR4.35mn compared with net sellers of QR0.43mn the week ended May 23. The Arab institutions’ net buying grew marginally to QR1.21mn against QR0.58mn the previous week. The main market witnessed about 1% expansion in trade volumes to 882.17mn shares, 31% in value to QR3.12bn and 10% in deals to 92,526 this week. In the venture market, trade volumes zoomed 80% to 0.97mn equities, value by 77% to QR1.61mn and transactions by 27% to 74.

Faster sales of private vehicles and trailers led Qatar's automobile sector record a robust double-digit year-on-year growth in March 2024, according to the National Planning Council.
Business
Qatar's automobile sector records a robust double-digit y-o-y growth in March

Faster sales of private vehicles and trailers led Qatar's automobile sector record a robust double-digit year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in March 2024, according to the National Planning Council (NPC).The country saw 7,835 new vehicles registered this March jumping 10.5% and 8.4% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period, which saw a total of 7,936 driving licenses issued in March 2024 with non-Qatari males constituting 6,254 or 79% of the total, non-Qatari females 1,252 or 16%, Qatari males 239 or 3% and Qatari females 191 or 2%.The registration of new private vehicles stood at 6,039; which surged 23.5% and 9% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in March 2024. Such vehicles constituted 77.07% of the total new vehicles registered in the country in the review period.As many as 37 trailers were registered in March 2024, which shot up 27.6% and 8.8% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively. These constituted 0.61% of the total new vehicles in the review period.The registration of new private transport vehicles stood at 1,240; which zoomed 12.4% and 27.7% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2024. Such vehicles constituted 20.53% of the total new vehicles in the review period.The registration of new private motorcycles stood at 225 units, which was down 2.6% on an annualised basis but soared 58.5% month-on-month in March 2024. These constituted 3.73% of the total new vehicles in the review period.The new registration of other non-specified vehicles stood at 203 units, which plummeted 70.1% and 51.9% respectively year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2024. These constituted 3.36% of the total new vehicles registered in the country in the review period.The registration of new heavy equipment stood at 91, which constituted 1.51% of the total registrations this March. Their registrations had seen 43.1% and 26.6% contraction year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period.The registration was renewed in 75,056 vehicles, which saw a 4.7% decline on a yearly basis but grew 3.2% month-on-month in March 2024. It constituted 55.87% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The transfer of ownership was reported in 33,378 vehicles in March 2024, which shrank 6.8% on an annualised basis but increased 8.3% on a monthly basis. It constituted 24.85% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The lost/damaged vehicles stood at 9,600 units, which shot up 63.3% and 16.2% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2024. They constituted 7.15% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The modified vehicles’ registration stood at 3,759; which tanked 40.7% and 3.9% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2024. They constituted 2.8% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The number of vehicles meant for exports stood at 2,687 units, which zoomed 53.5% year-on-year but was down 2.4% on a monthly basis in March 2024. It constituted 2% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The number of cancelled vehicles was 1,776; dropping 47.6% and 17.1% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively this March. They constituted 1.32% of the clearing of vehicle-related processes in the review period.The re-registration was done in 123 vehicles, which grew 7% on an annualised basis but declined 3.9% month-on-month in March 2024.The clearing of vehicle-related processes stood at 134,343 units, which was down 3.4% year-on-year but expanded 5% on a monthly basis in the review period.

Gulf Times
Business
QCB launches 'Express Sandbox' for quicker market entry for solutions or innovations in fintech

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has launched "Express Sandbox", the first of its kind in the Middle East, as part efforts to offer quicker market entry for solutions or innovations that demonstrate product readiness and potential.This comes in line with the Third Financial Sector Strategy, the FinTech Strategy, and the QCB's ongoing efforts to regulate and develop the financial sector.The Express Sandbox, an expedited programme, offers a faster track through the usual regulatory assessment while maintaining high standards of risk management, consumer protection, and system integrity.Financial institutions, licensed fintech companies, startups, and technology companies partnered with licensed financial entities (both domestic and international) can apply for the Express Sandbox programme to test and introduce their fintech innovative solutions in the Qatari market."Entities that succeed in joining the Express Sandbox will benefit from a reduced testing period, rapid testing cycles, and a streamlined overall evaluation process," QCB said.Key eligibility criteria for the Express Sandbox include strong track record in financial services, understanding of the local Qatari market, financial soundness, mature business and operating model, and adherence to international and local standards.The QCB has taken on a role of the “orchestrator” of Qatar’s fintech strategy, in addition to acting as the central regulatory authority of its fintech ecosystem, a report of the Qatar Financial Centre-Refinitiv had said.In alignment with the second strategic plan for the financial sector, the QCB has set itself four key objectives as part of the national fintech strategy, which included creating a connected and collaborative fintech ecosystem, maintaining global competitiveness of fintech services, having a strengthened financial system and providing meaningful solutions to local consumers.Through fulfilling these targeted objectives, the central bank launched three initiatives related to regulating the fintech sector in Qatar, aiming to maintain a balance between enabling fintech innovation while also protecting consumers and the integrity of Qatar’s financial system.The QCB has embarked on regulating aspects of the fintech business and ecosystem. In 2019, it began with issuing regulations on payments, the fastest growing segment in the region and a priority focus of the National Fintech Strategy.In its third financial sector strategy, built upon four pillars and supported by five cross-cutting themes; the QCB has suggested incentives to the Big Tech and fintech entities for facilitating their entry into the country.The third financial sector strategy is to make Qatar a leading ecosystem embracing emerging technologies to accelerate digital transformation supported by adaptable and consistent regulatory frameworks and trusted market infrastructure.