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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 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.
Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori, Chief Executive Officer, Aamal Company.
Business
Aamal eyes geographical expansion

Aamal Company, one of the region’s largest and most diversified companies, is planning to expand further its exports, particularly to Asia, which it sees as an attractive potential market for its products.On the domestic front, it is focusing on industrial manufacturing, real estate, and healthcare and other high-growth sectors such as information technology, said Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori, Chief Executive Officer of Aamal Company.Aamal, which already has allowed up to 100% foreign ownership limit, enjoys a strong financial position and a low gearing ratio of 2.04% with significant liquidity amounting to QR7.9bn at the end of 2022."At present we are doing fine and we are sufficiently capitalised as we look at better ways of financing the projects whenever the opportunities arise," al-Mansoori said.The fast-growing entity is considering geographic expansion by increasing exports from its existing factories in Qatar as well as keeping options open on establishing new factories in the region, according to him."In Aamal, we have the potential and opportunities to take our services outside Qatar; thanks to the experience we have built over many years," he said in an interview.Highlighting that it is already exporting to the Middle East and Asia; he said "we are trying to increase our presence in the region, mainly in Asia, which is a potential market for our products."Aamal Company has plans to produce high quality continuous cast copper rods in line with global standards through its Senyar Cast Copper Rod plant, creating opportunities in 2023 and beyond.The copper rod mill will have an initial production capacity of 86,000 tonnes per year. The factory is expected to be completed in 2023Doha Cables is expecting higher demand from the energy sector this year with energy and net zero challenges seeing high EPC demand in the EHV Underground cable business both globally and in Qatar.Additional opportunities exist within the North Field Expansion project and the new ammonia plant launched by Qatar Fertilisers.The company’s subsidiaries have won many contracts this year. The list includes QR1.2bn contract from Kahramaa for the establishment of new underground extra high voltage/high voltage cables (EHV/HV) in addition to different voltage levels from 132kV, 66kV and modifications of the existing circuits; QR100mn contract from Mowasalat for the provision of both cleaning and pest control services, and vehicle washing services; QR45mn contract from The Ministry of Municipality to provide cleaning services to all premises and sites, and maintenance of lavatories that belong to the ministry; and QR40mn contract from Ashgal for the supply of ready-mixed concrete products to Wakra and Wukair drainage tunnel project.Aamal is looking to establish synergies among its business operations, enhancing its operational and financial efficiency.Stressing that healthcare is one of the priority areas for Qatar; al-Mansoori said the company is evaluating all opportunities.This year, Ebn Sina Medical, which comes under trading and distribution, will focus on the acquisition of new businesses mainly in the therapeutic areas of oncology, rare diseases and genetic disorders in addition to registering and launching new products.Aamal Medical, a leading medical equipment supplier in Qatar, finds growth potential in the market lay in the areas of health IT, radiology, laboratories, operating theaters, and chronic disease/home care areas.Aamal Trading and Distribution is planning to further increase their market share this year through increasing its presence across Woqod petrol stations, opening new retail stores, increasing the product offerings and establishing an online sales platform.In its property division, which has a strong weighting amongst Aamal’s operations, al-Mansoori said it is seeing high demand for leasing at City Center Doha due to its key location and accessibility.The mall welcomes around 30,000- 40,000 visitors every day and this year will see new shops opening, enhancing the brand and tenant mix. Aamal is also finalising phase two of the eastern exterior façade and completing the leasing of the Gold Souq area, as well as focusing on family-oriented marketing activities that will attract more customers.

Gulf Times
Business
Domestic funds’ net selling drag QSE 73 points

The Qatar Stock Exchange Sunday opened the week weak with its key index losing 73 points, dragged mainly by the transport and banking sectors. .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[29360]**The domestic institutions turned net sellers as the 20-stock Qatar Index shed 0.68% to 10,669.16 points.The market, which was skewed towards decliners, had however touched an intraday high of 10,790 points.The Arab retail investors were increasingly net profit takers in the main market, which reported year-to-date losses of 0.11%.The Gulf individuals were seen bearish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation shrank QR1.52bn or 0.24% to QR627.49bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.However, the foreign institutions turned bullish in the main market, which saw a total of 0.12mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.32mn changed hands across 10 deals.The Gulf funds were increasingly net buyers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the main index in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index lot 0.68%, All Share Index by 0.53% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.57% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The transport sector index tanked 1.52%, banks and financial services (0.62%), real estate (0.58%) and industrials (0.41%); while consumer goods and services gained 0.19%, insurance (0.04%) and telecom (0.01%).More than 54% of the traded constituents were in the red with major losers being Nakilat, Masraf Al Rayan, Aamal Company, United Development Company, Beema, Qatar Islamic Bank, Salam International Investment, Qatari German Medical Devices, Aamal Company, Qatar Electricity and Water and Gulf Warehousing. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Widam Food, Medicare Group, Inma Holding, Dukhan Bank, Dlala and QLM were among the gainers in the main market.The domestic funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR33.67mn compared with net buyers of QR1.74mn on May 11.The Arab individuals’ net selling increased noticeably to QR14.77mn against QR6.07mn the previous trading day.The Gulf retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR1.26mn compared with net buyers of QR0.57mn last Thursday.However, the Gulf institutions’ net buying increased perceptibly to QR35.48mn against QR34.56mn on May 11.The foreign funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR10.31mn compared with net sellers of QR9.56mn the previous trading day.The Qatari individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR2.59mn against net sellers of QR17.54mn last Thursday.The foreign retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.32mn compared with net profit takers QR3.7mn on May 11.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the third straight session.The main market saw about 1% jump in trade volumes to 221.83mn shares and 13% in value to QR671.81mn but on 3% decline in deals to 20,401.

Strong macroeconomic constructs strengthened the bullish sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which gained 102 points in key index this week, leading the market tender positive returns on a year-to-date basis
Business
Islamic equities outperform as QSE remains under bullish spell

Strong macroeconomic constructs strengthened the bullish sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which gained 102 points in key index this week, leading the market tender positive returns on a year-to-date basis.The insurance, real estate, transport and consumer goods counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index gained 0.96% this week, which saw the global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) forecast Qatar’s growth to gain momentum from 2025 on liquefied natural gas expansion.About 86% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors this week which saw the listed companies cumulatively report net profit of QR12.54bn in the first three months of this year.The Arab retail investors were seen net buyers this week which saw Qatar Insurance disclose its intent to sell its entire stake in Gibraltar-based subsidiaries.The domestic institutions’ substantially weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main market this week which saw QInvest successfully closes Qatar’s first book building exercise for the initial public offering of Meeza.The local individual investors’ weakened net selling also had its say in the main market this week which saw Mekdam Holding receive approval from the Qatar Financial Market Authority for its proposed rights issue.The foreign retail investors’ lower net profit booking had its swaying impact on the main market this week which saw S&P forecast that the Qatar’s government debt is expected to scale down to 27% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2026 from about 45% in 2022.The Gulf institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market this week which saw a total of 0.45mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR1.09mn trade across 26 deals.The Islamic index was seen outperforming the other indices in the main market this week which saw as many as 0.08mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.84mn change hands across 56 transactions.The foreign funds were seen net profit takers this week which saw trade turnover and volumes on the increase in the main market.Market capitalisation was seen adding 1.02% to QR629.01bn on the back of mid and small cap segments this week which saw the banking and real estate sectors together constitute about 52% of the total trade volume in the main market.The Total Return Index gained 0.96%, the All Share Index by 1.26%, and the All Islamic Index by 1.95% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The insurance sector surged 12.29%, real estate (5.17%), transport (3.09%), consumer goods and services (2.74%), telecom (0.7%), banks and financial services (0.34%) and industrials (0.15%) this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Qatari German Medical Devices, Inma Holding, Dlala, Mannai Corporation, Qatar Insurance, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Lesha Bank, Alijarah Holding, Dukhan Bank, Medicare Group, Widam Food, Aamal Company, Doha Insurance, Al Khaleej Takaful, Mazaya Qatar, Ezdan, United Development Company, Barwa, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat, Gulf Warehousing and Milaha. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week.Nevertheless, Ahli Bank Qatar, Qamco, Beema, Gulf International Services, QNB, Industries Qatar and Qamco were among the losers in the main market this week.The Arab retail investors were net buyers to the tune of QR6.6mn against net sellers of QR13.11mn the week ended May 4.The domestic funds’ net selling decreased significantly to QR102.32mn compared to QR266.55mn the previous week.The local retail investors’ net profit booking shrank drastically to QR78.39mn against QR103.11mn a week ago.The foreign individuals’ net selling weakened noticeably to QR1.36mn compared to QR20.45mn the week ended May 4.However, the foreign institutions turned net sellers to the extent of QR32.52mn against net buyers of QR71.4mn the previous week.The Gulf individuals’ net profit booking strengthened perceptibly to QR10.91mn compared to QR8.27mn a week ago.The Arab institutions were net sellers to the tune of QR0.09mn against net buyers of QR0.11mn the week ended May 4.The Gulf institutions’ net buying declined substantially to QR218.99mn compared to QR339.97mn the previous week.The main market witnessed a 25% jump in trade volumes to 1.45mn shares and 12% in value to QR3.21bn but on 4% fall in deals to 100,704.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar’s government debt to fall to 27% of GDP by 2026: S&P

Qatar's government debt is expected to scale down to 27% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2026 from about 45% in 2022, according to Standard and Poor's (S&P), an international credit rating agency.In its latest report, the rating agency said the government intends to reduce its overall debt-to-GDP ratio and to rebalance the share of foreign currency debt in the total, aiming for 50%, from 56% in 2022.Expecting the government's debt-repayment strategy to reduce total general government debt to 27% of GDP by 2026, from about 45% in 2022; the report said Qatar’s net fiscal asset position will remain a rating strength, averaging 105% of GDP over 2023-26.Despite the strong aggregate external position, Qatar stands out in the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) as having a "significant" amount of net external banking sector liabilities, mainly divided between short-term non-resident deposits and, more recently, interbank lines, which keep external financing needs high, it said.Qatar ran current account surpluses over 2017-19, but at the same time, borrowed externally to fund infrastructure investment within the country, according to S&P."Given the elevated level of financial sector external debt, in our view, Qatari banks could be vulnerable to shifts in investor sentiment amid the tightening of monetary policy," it said.Finding the recent declining trend in banking sector external liabilities, prompted by the Qatar Central Bank's (QCB's) regulatory directives; the rating agency said: "We expect this trend will continue as nonresident deposits mature and credit growth slows in line with weaker economic activity and following the completion of some major infrastructure projects."Beyond the risks stemming from banks' short-term external funding profiles, the financial system coped well with the pandemic and the subsequent withdrawal of forbearance measures, according to S&P.Stressing that the rising interest rates should support profitability and bolster already strong levels of capitalisation; it said as a result, "we expect credit losses will remain elevated in 2022, at about double their pre-pandemic rates of 50 basis points (bps), but that asset quality will remain robust."Finding that inflation increased in Qatar last year, averaging 5%; S&P said it expects the consumer price index to moderate to 3% in 2023.Amid rising inflation, the QCB has increased the repurchase rate by 475 bps since the beginning of 2022, to 5.75% in March 2023, following the rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.Since January 2022, QCB repo rate has risen from 1% to 1.25% in March, then to 1.75% in May, 2.5% in June, 3.25% in July, 4% in September, 4.75% in November, 5.25% in December, 5.5% in March and the 5.75% in May 2023. In 2022, the average repo rate was 2.77% and it was 1% in 2021."We expect the Qatari riyal to remain pegged to the US dollar and QCB interest rate policy to broadly follow that of the US Federal Reserve," it said.

Ali al-Suhail, associate at DAI Magister.
Business
Qatar, Gulf region seen well positioned to set up climate tech hubs with SWF support

The Gulf sovereign funds can establish innovation hubs centred on emerging climate tech themes, as the region is well positioned to seize the opportunity within climate tech, according to an analyst of DAI Magister, an investment bank advising international technology and climate companies.In this regard, Ali al-Suhail, associate at DAI Magister, made special mention of Qatar, whose sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority's (QIA) multi-billion dollar investment in Germany's RWE's accelerated ‘Growing Green’ strategy and Unibio, a leading sustainable protein company, partnering with Doha-based Gulf Biotech to construct the first single-cell protein plant."Looking to diversify away from oil revenues, climate tech is a natural investment target. By embracing climate tech, Gulf States can build specialised hubs, align with strategic goals such as food security and logistics, and position themselves as key players in the global energy transition. It also will also offer them an opportunity to create future jobs for their young populations," said Ali al-Suhail, associate at DAI Magister.He highlighted that climate tech investments attracted over $50bn in 2022 and recent COP hosts (UK and Egypt) estimate that the sector needs $1tn of investments to meet climate goals. The sector is diversifying beyond energy and mobility to include areas as industrial tech (hydrogen), agri-food, and built environment.The Gulf countries are “well positioned to seize the opportunity within climate tech; thanks to their growing oil revenues and serious diversification visions," he said, adding Gulf sovereign funds can establish innovation hubs centred around emerging climate tech themes, leveraging their central location, large ports, and extensive land reserves.Themes such as built environment, industrial material, and food and agri-tech provide them with excellent opportunities to shape the future, he said.Finding that investment into climate tech companies is usually more complex and requires higher capital intensity as most of these investments involve infrastructure elements like solar panels and robotics; he said Gulf sovereign funds are well-suited to tackle such complexity due to their long investment horizons and access to significant capital.Highlighting that novel food proteins is one sector where emerging companies are taking the advantage of the vast land resources; he said in Qatar, Unibio, a leading sustainable protein company, has partnered with Gulf Biotech, an industrial biotech investor, to construct the first single-cell protein plant in the country.The Gulf region has also long experience in shaping and influencing the global energy markets providing them with a unique insight into how the sovereign funds can utilise new energy, whether wind or solar panels. It also has extensive experience in producing and exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) which has a lot of parallels with one of the hottest trends in industrial tech – hydrogen.Stressing that the sovereign funds can perceive investing into climate tech for purely return purposes in that regard and its diversification potential; he said they should focus on companies with a vast market potential and a solid business model that is commercially driven."The funds are moving in this direction as QIA recently invested $2.5bn to acquire 10% of RWE, a German utility, to help it acquire a solar business in America. However, there is a larger opportunity to grab here," he said.

The Gulf institutions were increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.12% to 10,741.82 points.
Business
QSE edges up as Gulf funds boost net buying

The Qatar Stock Exchange Thursday gained about 13 points, paced mainly by the insurance and transport sectors. .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[27676]**The Gulf institutions were increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.12% to 10,741.82 points.The market, which was rather skewed towards decliners, had recovered from an intraday low of 10,688 points.The domestic funds were seen net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date gains increased to 0.57%.The Gulf retail investors turned bullish on the main bourse, whose capitalisation was up QR0.61bn or 0.1% to QR629.01bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.However, Qatari individuals were increasingly net sellers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.16mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.42mn changed hands across 11 deals.The Arab retail investors were also seen bearish in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining vis-à-vis gains in the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.12% and the All Share Index by 0.25%, while the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) was down 0.05% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The insurance sector index shot up 3.48%, transport (2.48%), consumer goods and services (0.48%) and industrials (0.29%); while banks and financial services declined 0.29%, telecom (0.27%) and real estate (0.03%).Major movers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Inma Holding, Qatar Insurance, Widam Food, Doha Insurance, Qatari German Medical Devices, Mannai Corporation, Milaha and Nakilat.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qatari Investors Group, Ezdan Holding, Qatar Oman Investment, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Qamco were among the losers in the main market.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR34.56mn compared to QR15.19mn on May 10.The domestic funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.74mn against net profit takers of QR12.17mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.57mn compared with net sellers of QR2.48mn on Wednesday.However, the Qatari individuals’ net profit booking expanded considerably to QR17.54mn against QR6.87mn on May 10.The foreign institutions’ net selling strengthened perceptibly to QR9.56mn compared to QR8.29mn the previous day.The Arab individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR6.07mn against net buyers of QR11.8mn on Wednesday.The foreign retail investors were net profit takers to the extent of QR3.7mn compared with net buyers of QR2.86mn on May 10.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the second straight session.The main market saw a 19% contraction in trade volumes to 219.99mn shares and 2% in value to QR594.91mn but on less than 1% rise in deals to 20,986.

A view of the Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar's principal site for the production of liquefied natural gas and gas-to-liquids (file). Expecting Qatar to remain one of the largest exporters of LNG globally; S&P said between 2025 and 2027, the government plans to increase Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity to 126mn tonnes from 77mn.
Business
Qatar's growth to gain momentum from 2025 on LNG expansion: S&P

Qatar will gain growth momentum from 2025 as capital spending remains strong and hydrocarbon production increases due to the North Field Expansion (NFE), with liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity expected to jump 60% by 2027 from current levels, according to Standard & Poor's (S&P), a global credit rating agency.Expecting Qatar to remain one of the largest exporters of LNG globally; it said between 2025 and 2027, the government plans to increase Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity to 126mn tonnes from 77mn."The strategic pivot away from Russian gas, particularly by European economies, suggests there will likely be demand for additional exports from Qatar. In our forecast, we assume that LNG production levels will be largely flat until 2025, but increase about 30% over 2026-27, given our forecast that the full increase in capacity will take some time to materialise," the report said.S&P said demand for LNG is likely to peak in the mid-2030s, with increasing use of renewables in the energy market having a gradual impact on hydrocarbons demand; nevertheless as a low-cost supplier, “we think Qatar will remain in a relatively strong competitive position even after 2030.”Highlighting that Qatar's income levels are among the highest of all rated sovereigns; S&P forecast GDP (gross domestic product) per capita of $82,600 in 2023, the 10th highest level of all sovereigns it rates."Once the NFE project boosts LNG production after 2025, we expect income levels to further increase," it said, forecasting that Qatar will maintain "sizeable" external and fiscal net asset positions through 2026."We expect the current account surplus to average close to 20% of GDP annually over 2023-26 with the net international investment position continuing to strengthen from an estimated 70% of GDP in 2022," it said.S&P considers the government's large liquid assets will average 140% of GDP over 2023-26, provide it with a strong buffer to mitigate the economic effects of external or financial shocks.Qatar derives about 40% of its GDP, 80% of government revenue, and 90% of exports from the hydrocarbon sector.Forecasting that the Brent oil price will average about $90 per barrel in 2023 and $85 thereafter; it said with hydrocarbon production and its price assumptions largely flat until the former begins to pick-up in 2026, "we expect the general government surplus to remain at about 4% of GDP over the period."Expecting government expenditure to remain broadly flat at about 25% of GDP on average over 2022-25: S&P said "our expectation of additional expenditure restraint over the forecast period through 2025 largely relates to our assumption that government spending on capital projects, of about 10% of GDP in 2022, will decline to about 6% by 2026."With hydrocarbon sector output largely flat over the period to 2025, headline GDP growth will mostly relate to the performance of the non-hydrocarbon sector."We anticipate a deceleration in economic activity this year as growth in non-hydrocarbon sectors, such as tourism, transport, and construction, slows after Qatar's hosting of the World Cup in late 2022," it said, forecasting real GDP growth to accelerate to nearly 4% by 2027 as gas production levels increase and the non-hydrocarbon sector remains relatively strong.

The building permits issued in the country reported 43.4% and 37% decline year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period, according to PSA data.
Business
Qatar records 383 building permits issued in April: PSA

Qatar saw as many as 383 building permits issued in April 2023 with Al Rayyan, Doha and Al Wakra constituting more than 71% of the total in the country, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The building permits issued in the country reported 43.4% and 37% decline year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period, according to PSA data.The building permits data is of particular importance as it is considered an indicator for the performance of the construction sector which in turn occupies a significant position in the national economy.On a monthly basis, total building permits issued in Al Shamal reported a 70% plunge, followed by Umm Slal (63%), Al Daayen (62%), Al Shahaniya (58%), Al Rayyan (45%), Al Wakra (37%), Doha (23%) and Al Khor (6%) in the review period.Of the total number of new building permits issued, Al Rayyan constituted 102 permits or 27% of the total, followed by Doha 89 (23%), Al Wakra 82 (21%), Al Daayen 48 (13%), Al Khor 34 (9%), Umm Slal 15 (4%), Al Shahaniya 10 (3%) and Al Shamal three (1%).On an annualised basis, total building permits issued in Al Shamal plummeted 75%, Al Daayen 62.5%, Umm Slal 55.9%, Al Wakra 45%, Doha 41.8%, Al Rayyan 37.4% and Al Shahaniya 28.6%; while those in Al Khor soared 41.7% in April 2023.The new building permits (residential and non-residential) constituted 149 permits or 39% of the total issued in April 2023, followed by additions 221 (58%) and fencing 13 (3%).Of the new residential buildings permits, villas topped the list, accounting for 84% or 104 permits, followed by apartments 9% (11), and dwellings of housing loans 6% (seven) in the review period.Among the non-residential sector, commercial structures accounted for 44% or 11 permits, the industrial buildings as workshops and factories 40% (10 permits) and the governmental buildings 12% (three permits).Qatar saw a total of 254 building completion certificates issued in April 2023, of which 192 or 76% was for the new buildings (residential and non-residential) and 62 or 24% for additions.On an annualised basis, total building completion certificates issued in the country saw 27% fall with Al Shahaniya registering 71.4% plunge, Doha (52.5%), Al Shamal (50%), Al Wakra (40.3%), Al Rayyan (11.8%), Al Daayen (9.2%) and Umm Slal (4%); whereas those in Al Khor shot up 44.4% in April 2023.Qatar saw a 37% month-on-month expansion in the total building completion certificates issued in April 2023 with Al Shamal registering a 67% contraction, Doha (56%), Al Wakra (47%), Al Daayen (32%), Al Khor (28%), Al Shahaniya (25%), Al Rayyan (22%) and Umm Slal (20%) in the review period.Al Rayyan constituted 75 or 30% of the total number of building completion certificates issued in the review period, Al Daayen 23% or 59, Al Wakra 17% or 43, Doha 11% or 28, Umm Slal 9% or 24, Al Khor 5% or 13, Al Shamal 2% or six; and Al Shahaniya 2% or six in April 2023.Of the 152 residential buildings completion certificates issued, as many as 132 or 87% were for villas, nine or 6% for dwellings of housing loans and eight or 5% for apartments.Of the 132 villas completion certificates issued in April 2023, as many as 44 were in Al Rayyan, 24 in Al Daayen, 23 in Al Wakra, 19 in Umm Slal, eight in Al Khor, seven in Doha, five in Al Shamal and two in Al Shahaniya.In the case of nine apartments, Doha issued four completion certificates, Al Rayyan (three), and one each in Al Daayen and Al Shamal.

Notwithstanding buying interests in five of the seven sectors, the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 0.17% lower at 10,728.97 points Wednesday.
Business
QSE snaps 10-day winning streak as index edges down

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Wednesday snapped 10 consecutive days of bullish run and its key index fell 18 points, despite gainers outnumbering losers.Notwithstanding buying interests in five of the seven sectors, the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 0.17% lower at 10,728.97 points.The market had a rollercoaster ride with its key index touching an intraday high of 10,757 points and intraday low of 10,705 points.The banking and transport counters witnessed higher than average net profit booking in the main market, whose year-to-date gains truncated to 0.45%.The Gulf institutions’ weakened net buying had its influence on the main bourse, whose capitalisation was down QR0.3bn or 0.05% to QR628.4bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.However, more than 71% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market, which saw a total of 0.05mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.16mn changed hands across eight deals.The foreign funds continued to be net sellers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining vis-à-vis declines in the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index fell 0.17% and the All Share Index by 0.16%, while the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) rose 0.82% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The banks and financial services sector index shrank 0.8% and transport (0.26%); while insurance shot up 1.9%, realty (1.48%), telecom (0.71%), industrials (0.45%) and consumer goods and services (0.3%).Major shakers in the main market included Beema, Nakilat, QNB, Commercial Bank, Alijarah Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Gulf International Services and Estithmar Holding.Nevertheless, Qatari German Medical Devices, Inma Holding, Widam Food, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Dlala, Masraf Al Rayan, Dukhan Bank, Salam International Investment, Mannai Corporation, Qamco, QLM, United Development Company and Milaha were among the gainers in the main market.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The Gulf institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR15.19mn compared to QR54.49mn on May 9.The foreign retail investors’ net buying weakened marginally to QR2.86mn against QR3.18mn the previous day.However, the Arab individuals’ net buying increased noticeably to QR11.8mn compared to QR7.41mn on Tuesday.The foreign institutions’ net profit booking declined significantly to QR8.29mn against QR27.87mn on May 9.The domestic institutions’ net selling shrank considerably to QR12.17mn compared to QR25.8mn the previous day.The local retail investors’ net profit booking eased perceptibly to QR6.87mn against QR7.36mn on Tuesday.The Gulf retail investors’ net selling weakened markedly to QR2.48mn compared to QR3.94mn on May 9.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net profit takers to the extent of QR0.1mn the previous day.The main market saw a 28% contraction in trade volumes to 271.27mn shares, 21% in value to QR607.42mn and 6% in deals to 20,902.

The real estate, insurance, transport, consumer goods and industrials counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.29% to 10,747 points.
Business
QSE enters 10th day of bullish run as index gain 31 points

The Qatar Stock Exchange Tuesday remained bullish for the 10th straight session as its key index gained more than 31 points, mainly on the back of strong buying interests from the Gulf institutions.The real estate, insurance, transport, consumer goods and industrials counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.29% to 10,747 points.The market, which was skewed towards movers, regained from an intraday low of 10,660 points.The Arab retail investors turned net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date gains improved to 0.62%.The foreign individuals were also seen bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR2.56bn or 0.41% to QR628.7bn, mainly on account of small and microcap segments.About 73% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market, which saw a total of 0.02mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.14mn changed hands across 17 deals.The local retail investors’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index gained 0.29%, All Share Index by 0.28% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.51% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The realty sector index shot up 1.13%, insurance (0.82%), transport (0.62%), consumer goods and services (0.57%), industrials (0.35%), telecom (0.33%) and banks and financial services (0.06%).Major movers included Doha Insurance, Ezdan, Lesha Bank, Inma Holding, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatari German Medical Devices, Medicare Group, Mannai Corporation, Aamal Holding, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Mazaya Qatar, United Development Company and Nakilat.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, QLM, Al Khaleej Takaful, Ahlibank Qatar, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Commercial Bank, Barwa, Vodafone Qatar and Milaha were among the losers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR54.49mn compared to QR38.21mn on May 8.The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR7.41mn against net sellers of QR5.61mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR3.18mn compared with net sellers of QR6.49mn on Monday.The local retail investors’ net profit booking declined perceptibly to QR7.36mn against QR12.67mn on May 8.However, the foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR27.87mn compared with net buyers of QR8.56mn the previous day.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking increased noticeably to QR25.8mn against QR21.11mn on Monday.The Gulf retail investors’ net selling strengthened significantly to QR3.94mn compared to QR0.88mn on May 8.The Arab institutions’ net profit booking rose marginally to QR0.1mn against QR0.01mn the previous day.The main market saw a 12% jump in trade volumes to 378.96mn shares, 10% in value to QR770.27mn and less than 1% in deals to 22,139.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE gains 43 points; year-to-date returns turn positive

The Qatar Stock Exchange Monday gained more than 42 points and its key index surpassed 10,700 levels, thus entering a positive terrain on a year-to-date basis. .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[26286]**The insurance, telecom, real estate and transport sectors witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.4% to 10,715.6 points.The market, which was skewed towards movers, regained from an intraday low of 10,557 points.The foreign institutions were increasingly into net buying in the main market, which showed year-to-date gains of 0.32%.The domestic funds’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR1.44bn or 0.23% to QR626.14bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The local retail investors’ lower net selling pressure also had its say in the main market, which saw a total of 0.15mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.65mn changed hands across 24 deals.The Gulf institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index gained 0.4%, All Share Index by 0.33% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.44% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The insurance sector index shot up 1.77%, telecom (0.99%), realty (0.98%), transport (0.84%), consumer goods and services (0.71%) and banks and financial services (0.35%); while industrials declined 0.48%.About 69% of the traded constituents in the main market extended gains with major movers being Doha Insurance, Mazaya Qatar, Alijarah Holding, Qatari German Medical Devices, Al Khaleej Takaful, Commercial Bank, Lesha Bank, Salam International Investment, Medicare Group and Baladna. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Gulf International Services, Qamco, Zad Holding, Estithmar Holding and Inma Holding were among the losers in the main market.The foreign institutions’ net buying increased noticeably to QR8.56mn compared to QR4.64mn on May 7.The local retail investors’ net profit booking declined substantially to QR12.67mn against QR33.95mn on Sunday.The domestic institutions’ net selling decreased considerably to QR21.11mn compared to QR44.98mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking weakened markedly to QR0.88mn against QR4.17mn on May 7.However, the foreign individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR6.49mn compared with net buyers of QR2.79mn on Sunday.The Arab individuals’ net selling strengthened notably to QR5.61mn against QR0.93mn the previous day.The Arab funds turned net profit takers to the extent of QR0.01mn compared with net buyers of QR0.02mn on May 7.The Gulf institutions’ net buying shrank drastically to QR38.21mn against QR76.59mn on Sunday.The main market saw a 38% jump in trade volumes to 338.04mn shares, 32% in value to QR703.3mn and 52% in deals to 22,120.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE inches towards 10,700 levels as demand soars for insurance, realty and banking stocks

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Sunday opened the week on a stronger note with its key index gaining as much as 33 points to inch towards the 10,700 levels. .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[26079]** The insurance, real estate and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 0.31% to 10,673.01 points. The market, which was skewed towards movers, nevertheless retreated from an intraday high of 10,706 points. The foreign institutions turned net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses narrowed to mere 0.08%. The foreign individuals were also seen bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR2.06bn or 0.33% to QR624.7bn, mainly on account of midcap segments. The Gulf institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market, which saw a total of 0.15mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.56mn changed hands across 22 deals. The domestic institutions’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index gained 0.31%, the All Share Index by 0.55% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.21% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline. The insurance sector index tanked 3.79%, real estate (1.5%), banks and financial services (1.02%) and consumer goods and services (0.66%); while telecom declined 1.05%, transport (0.59%) and industrials (0.46%). More than 54% of the traded constituents in the main market extended gains with major movers being Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar Insurance, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Al Khaleej Takaful, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Islamic Bank, QNB, Mekdam Holding, Gulf International Services, Barwa and Mazaya Qatar. Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Baladna, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Ooredoo, Qamco and Milaha were among the losers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value. The foreign institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR4.64mn compared with net sellers of QR9.38mn on May 4. The foreign individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR2.79mn against net profit takers of QR5.03mn last Thursday. The Arab funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.092mn compared with no major net exposure the previous day. The local retail investors’ net profit booking declined substantially to QR33.95mn against QR62.61mn on May 4. The domestic institutions’ net selling decreased considerably to QR44.98mn compared to QR66.74mn last Thursday. The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking weakened perceptibly to QR4.17mn against QR6.05mn the previous day. However, the Arab individuals’ net selling increased marginally to QR0.93mn compared to QR0.33mn on May 4. The Gulf institutions’ net buying weakened noticeably to QR76.59mn against QR1501.9mn last Thursday. The main market saw a 10% contraction in trade volumes to 244.85mn shares, 20% in value to QR534.24mn and 40% in deals to 14,557.

Gulf Times
Business
CI affirms QIB's long and short term foreign currency rating

Global credit rating agency Capital Intelligence (CI) has affirmed long-term foreign currency rating (LT FCR) and short-term foreign currency rating (ST FCR) of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) at ‘AA-’ and ‘A1+’, respectively.CI has affirmed QIB’s bank standalone rating (BSR) of ‘a-’, core financial strength (CFS) rating of ‘a-’, and extraordinary support level (ESL) of ‘high’. The outlook for the LT FCR and BSR is "stable".QIB's LT FCR is set three notches above the BSR to reflect the high likelihood of official extraordinary support in case of need. This is based on the government’s strong track record of support for Qatari banks and its ownership stakes in all Qatari banks.The government’s financial capacity to support the bank is also considered to be strong given Qatar’s sovereign ratings.The lender's BSR is based on a CFS rating of ‘a-’ and an operating environment risk anchor (OPERA) of ‘bbb’. The OPERA for Qatar reflects the country’s very strong external balances, including very high current account surpluses as well as increasing foreign exchange reserves and significantly declining external debt.It also factors in the substantial volume of state assets under Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) management and Qatar’s very large hydrocarbon reserves.The CFS rating is supported by strong asset quality, strong profitability at both the operating and net levels, and robust capitalisation. Non-financial supporting factors include a strong franchise and market position as the leading Islamic bank in Qatar (and as the second largest bank in the system).These strengths are to a limited extent counterbalanced by the level of financing exposure to the real estate sector and by a degree of concentration in both deposits and financings.QIB’s asset quality is very good, while credit loss absorption capacity is strong. The non-performing financing (NPF) ratio has remained low over an extended period, and has exhibited rather less volatility than seen at some of its peers, remaining among the lowest in the sector. Credit loss absorption capacity has been consistently strong, while the historic net NPF accretion rate has tended to be low.Its profitability is strong and earnings quality is good, with the Bank again posting consistently good results. Profitability has been better than the sector average, supported by its broadly stable net financing margins, and a declining cost-to-income ratio – a function of high efficiency. CI expects QIB to continue to post better than average earnings metrics despite its risk-averse business model.Highlighting that QIB has a good liquidity and funding profile, the agency said it is largely funded by customer deposits, the bulk of which are diversified and relatively stable retail deposit balances.The bank’s dependence on foreign funding has been relatively low by Qatari banking sector standards and the proportion of non-deposit funding is lower than at most of its peers.QIB maintains robust liquidity buffers, with particularly strong liquidity metrics. Hence, liquidity risk is considered to be low. QIB’s capitalisation is solid by global standards, and the quality of capital is good.

The Qatar Stock Exchange defied an overall regional trend of a bearish run with its key index gaining as much as 495 points and capitalisation adding QR35bn this week, mainly on the back of strong first quarter corporate results.
Business
QSE index vaults 495 points; M-cap adds QR35bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) defied an overall regional trend of a bearish run with its key index gaining as much as 495 points and capitalisation adding QR35bn this week,.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[24655]**mainly on the back of strong first quarter corporate results.The Gulf institutions were increasingly into net buying as the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 4.87% this week which saw Ooredoo report net profit of QR960.57mn in the first quarter (Q1) of this year.The telecom, real estate and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand this week which saw Dukhan Bank’s Q1 net profit at QR413.96mn.The foreign institutions were increasingly net buyers this week which saw Qatar see a 475 basis points increase in interest rates since January 2022.Some 74% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market this week, which saw Doha’s new business growth within non-energy private sector accelerate further in April this year.However, the domestic funds were increasingly net profit takers in the main market this week which saw Qatar’s producer price index eases in March this year.The local retail investors were also increasingly net sellers in the main market this week, which saw a total of 0.37mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.88mn trade across 32 deals.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main market this week which saw as many as 0.48mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR4.81mn change hands across 264 transactions.The Arab retail investors were seen net profit takers this week which saw trade turnover and volumes on the increase in the main market.Market capitalisation was seen adding 5.93% to QR622.64bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than 55% of the total trade volume in the main market.The Total Return Index zoomed 4.87%, the All Share Index by 5.04%, and the All Islamic Index by 4.05% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The telecom sector index plummeted 8.99%, realty (7.33%), banks and financial services (6.36%), transport (4.19%), industrials (3.1%), consumer goods and services (1.27%) and insurance (0.61%) this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Salam International Investment, Ezdan, Qatar Oman Investment, Mazaya Qatar, QNB, Commercial Bank, Lesha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Alijarah Holding, Qatari German Medical Devices, Baladna, Industries Qatar, Aamal Company, Qatari Investors Group, Qamco, Barwa, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar and Milaha. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding’s shares appreciated in value this week.Nevertheless, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, Zad Holding, Estithmar Holding, Mekdam Holding ad Qatar Industrial Manufacturing were among the losers in the main market this week.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR339.97mn compared to QR46.99mn the week ended April 27.The foreign institutions’ net buying expanded considerably to QR71.4mn against QR41.26mn a week ago.The Arab institutional investors’ net buying rose marginally to QR0.11mn compared to QR0.02mn the previous week.However, the domestic funds’ net selling grew significantly to QR266.55mn against QR85.06mn the week ended April 27.The local retail investors; net profit booking shot up drastically to QR103.11mn compared to QR19.53mn a week ago.The foreign individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR20.45mn against net buyers of QR0.12mn the previous week.The Arab retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR13.11mn compared with net buyers of QR16.7mn the week ended April 27.The Gulf individuals’ net profit booking strengthened perceptibly to QR8.27mn against QR0.49mn a week ago.Trade volumes in the main market more than tripled to 1.16mn shares and value almost tripled to QR2.86bn on more than doubled deals to 105,326.

The Qatar Central Bank on Wednesday increased the repo rate, deposit and lending rates by 25 basis points.
Business
Qatar records 4.75% increase in interest rates since January 2022

Qatar has seen a cumulative 4.75% or 475 basis points hike in interest rates since January 2022 after the central bank effected a 0.25% or 25 basis points increase in its key rates in view of the US Federal Reserve revising its reference rate in similar proportion.The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) on Wednesday increased the repo rate, deposit and lending rates by 25 basis points.The repo rate in Qatar has increased by a cumulative 4.75% or 475 bps from the beginning of 2022. Since January 2022, QCB repo rate has risen from 1% to 1.25% in March, then to 1.75% in May, 2.5% in June, 3.25% in July, 4% in September, 4.75% in November, 5.25% in December, 5.5% in March and the 5.75% in May 2023.In 2022, the average repo rate was 2.77% and it was 1% in 2021.The increasing repo rate comes in view of the fixed exchange parity with the greenback; otherwise higher-yielding dollar-based investments could put downward pressure on the local currency, market sources said, adding it may lead funds flow to bank deposits with higher returns and lower risk.The QCB lending rate has cumulatively increased by 3.5% or 350bps from the beginning of 2022. It was seen jumping from 2.5% in January to 2.75% in May, 3.25% in June, 3.75% in July, 4.5% in September, 5% in November, 5.5% in December, 5.75% in March and the latest 6%. The average lending rate in 2021 was 2.5%.On credit facilities, the interest rate (weighted average) on loans less than one year was seen increasing to 6.27% in February 2023 against 3.82% in February 2022; on loans from one to three years to 6.91% (3.56%); on loans of three years and above to 6.67% (4.03%).Similarly, the QCB deposit rate has cumulatively jumped by 4.5% or 450bps, increasing from 1% in January 2022 to 1.5% in May, 2.25% in June, 3% in July, 3.75% in September, 4.5% in November, 5% in December 2022, 5.25% in March 2023 and 5.5% in May 2023. The average deposit rate stood at 1% in 2021.In terms of customer deposits, time deposits of one-month was seen surging to 4.04% in February 2023 compared to 1.05% in February 2022; three-month deposits to 5.05% (1.51%); six-month deposits to 5.34% (1.76%); one-year to 4.31% (2%) and more than one year to 3.97% (1.86%).The weighted average overnight interbank interest rate (on riyal) stood at 5.02% in February 2023 compared to 0.37% in February 2022.The overnight rates noticeably shot up from July 2022 since it was much less than 1% in January-June 2022. In July, it was 1.68% from when it began zooming to 2.62% in August, 2.61% in September, 3.7% in October, 4.31% in November, 4.68% in December, 4.97% in January 2023 and 5.02% In February 2023.

The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net buying on Thursday as the 20-stock Qatar Index surged 1.48% to 10,639.9 points.
Business
QSE surpasses 10,600 level on increased net buying by Gulf funds

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday defied the general declining trend in view of the 25 basis points rate hike by the US Federal Reserve as its key index surged 155 points to surpass 10,600 levels.The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net buying as the 20-stock Qatar Index surged 1.48% to 10,639.9 points.The market, which was skewed towards movers, saw the index regain from an intraday low of 10,496 points.The banking and telecom counters witnessed higher than average demand in the main market, whose year-to-date losses narrowed to mere 0.39%.The domestic funds’ weakened net selling had its say on the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR10.8bn or 1.77% to QR622.64bn, mainly on account of large and midcap segments.The Arab retail investors’ lower net profit booking also had its influence in the main market, which saw a total of 0.22mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.55mn changed hands across 80 deals.The foreign retail investors were seen decreasingly into net profit booking in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining much slower than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index gained 1.48%, the All Share Index by 1.6% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.4% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover decreased amidst higher volumes.The banks and financial services sector index shot up 2.92%, telecom (2.52%), real estate 90.83%), transport (0.81%) and consumer goods and services (0.59%); while industrials and insurance declined 0.53% and 0.37% respectively.About 56% of the traded constituents in the main market extended gains with major movers being Ahlibank Qatar, Commercial Bank, Salam International Investment, QNB, Alijarah Holding, Qatari German Medical Devices, Gulf International Services, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar.Nevertheless, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, QLM, Widam Food, Baladna, Inma Holding and Qamco were among the losers in the main market.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased perceptibly to QR1501.9mn compared to QR145.09mn on May 3.The Arab individuals’ net selling declined substantially to QR0.33mn against QR2.15mn the previous day.The foreign individuals’ net profit booking weakened markedly to QR5.03mn compared to QR11.33mn on Wednesday.The domestic institutions’ net selling decreased considerably to QR66.74mn against QR83.75mn on May 3.However, the local retail investors’ net profit booking grew marginally to QR62.61mn compared to QR59.58mn the previous day.The foreign institutions were net sellers to the extent of QR9.38mn against net buyers of QR33.32mn on Wednesday.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking shot up significantly to QR6.05mn compared to QR1.06mn on May 3.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net sellers to the tune of QR0.4mn the previous day.The main market saw a 4% jump in trade volumes to 271.67mn shares but on 9% slump in value to QR670.33mn and 8% in deals to 24,202.

Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, CEO, QFC Authority.
Business
New business growth accelerates further in April: QFC PMI

Qatar saw new business growth accelerate further within the non-energy private sector in April; indicating a stronger improvement in business conditions on the back of strong demand for goods and services, according to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey data from the QFC said indices for total activity and the 12-month outlook also remained firmly positive, while employment rose further.The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 450 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors, and reflects the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data."Overall business conditions across the non-energy private sector gained momentum at the start of the second quarter, mainly thanks to an acceleration in demand growth," Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive officer, QFC Authority, said.The headline PMI, a composite single-figure indicator of non-energy private sector performance, rose for the fifth time in six months to 54.4 in April, from 53.8 in March, indicating the strongest improvement in business conditions since July 2022. The latest figure moved further above the long-run trend of 52.2.The main boost to the PMI was from faster growth in new business, while the employment and stocks of purchases components also had positive directional influences. The output component eased slightly since March but remained above its long-run trend, with financial services again a key growth driver.New business increased at the fastest rate in nine months in April. Companies reported receiving large orders, expanded customer bases and rising demand due to the implementation of new projects. New products were also mentioned as sources of growth.The 12-month outlook for the non-energy private sector remained strongly positive. The Future Output index eased further from February's 41-month high but the average for 2023 so far, at 71.7, was well above the long-run trend of 64.6. By sector, confidence in April was strongest among manufacturers.April data indicated a third successive monthly increase in average wages and salaries, with pay pressures greater than the long-run trend. The employment index, tracking the overall level of staffing, rose to a nine-month high, signalling another increase in workforce numbers.Continuing the trend shown during 2023 so far, average input prices rose in April. That said, inflationary pressures remained modest and broadly in line with the long-run survey trend. Meanwhile, firms increased their charges for goods and services, having cut them in March.Although stronger new business inflows put pressure on capacity, companies were still able to reduce their levels of outstanding business for the ninth month running in April due to productivity improvements and increased workforces.The financial services sector in Qatar continued to expand at a marked rate in April as the volume of new business increased for the thirty-fifth consecutive month and at the fastest rate since last August. Overall financial services activity increased for the twenty-second successive month, and at a strong pace, while expectations remained firmly positive."The financial services sector continued to grow at a faster rate than the overall private sector economy in April, both in terms of total activity and new work, with the financial services new business index reaching 61.3," al-Jaida said.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Qatar's inbound visitors see 183.5% annual increase in March: PSA

Qatar's two- and one-star hotels witnessed improved rooms' yield this March on higher occupancy, as visitor arrivals surged, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The total number of inbound visitors was 433,000 in March, going up by 183.5% compared to the same month in 2022, and by 11.3% compared to February this year, the 111th issue of the PSA's Qatar Monthly Statistics bulletin showed.The visitor arrivals from the GCC were 164,410 or 38% of the total; followed by Europe with 114,681 or 26%; other Asia (including Oceania) with 85,234 or 20%; other Arab countries with 35,020 or 8%; the Americas with 26,567 or 6%; and other African countries with 7,202 or 2%.As for visitors by type of port, those coming by air made up the highest numbers with 47% of the total number of visitors, QNA reported.Visitor arrivals from the GCC countries increased 212% and 12.4% on a yearly and monthly basis, respectively, in March 2023.In the case of visitors from Europe, it soared 205.8% on an annualised basis this March but shrank 5.2% month-on-month.Visitors from other Asian countries (including Oceania) rose 130.6% and 19.3% on an annualised and monthly basis respectively this March.The visitor arrivals from other Arab countries reported a 198.4% and 51.5% increase year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2023.In March 2023, the visitors from Americas were seen increasing 148.2% and 15.7% year-on-year and month-on-month.In the case of other African countries, the visitor arrivals witnessed 127% and 58% jump year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2023.Meanwhile, the country's overall hospitality sector saw a 25.57% year-on-year decrease in average revenue per available room to QR262 in March 2023 as the average room rate shrank 19.6% to QR447 and occupancy by 4% to 59% in the review period, according to the PSA's data.The two-star and one-star hotels' average revenue per available room was seen increasing by 15.32% year-on-year to QR143 in March 2023 on the back of a 16% surge in occupancy to 90% although the average room rate dipped 4.79% to QR159.However, the five-star hotels saw the average revenue per available room shrink 16.98% on annualised basis to QR357 in March 2023 as the average room rate was down 7.42% to QR624 and the occupancy by 7% to 57%.The average revenue per available room in the four-star hotels tanked 36.16% on a yearly basis to QR143 in March 2023 as the average room rate declined 12.2% to QR259 and the occupancy by 21% to 55%.The three-star hotels saw a 28.28% year-on-year contraction in average revenue per available room to QR142 as average room rate shrank 9.22% to QR197 and the occupancy by 19% to 72% in the review period.The deluxe hotel apartments saw a 28.43 year-on-year plunge in average revenue available per room to QR219 in March 2023 as the average room rate decreased 28.95% to QR378; even as the occupancy was flat at 58% in the review period.In the case of standard hotel apartments, the room yield plummeted 31.88% year-on-year to QR156 in March 2023 even as the average room rate dropped 20.45% to QR249 and occupancy by 10% to 63%.