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Tuesday, February 27, 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.
Gulf Times
Business
IQ plans QR11bn capital expenditure for 2023-27

Market heavyweight Industries Qatar (IQ) – the holding entity of Qatar Petrochemicals, Qatar Fertiliser and Qatar Steel – has planned capital expenditure (capex) of QR11bn for 2023-27.A "significant" portion of this spending will be related to the new blue ammonia train, amounting to QR4.4bn, and IQ’s share of capex in the new PVC (polyvinyl chloride) project, amounting to QR121mn.Valued at approximately $1.06bn being fully internally funded, the new train will have a designed capacity of up to 1.2mn tonnes per annum (MTPA) of Blue ammonia, making it the world’s largest facility," HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and IQ Chairman and Managing Director Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said in the board of directors report presented during the general assembly.“There is no doubt that this project further add on our expertise in commissioning, operating, and maintaining ammonia plants,” he told shareholders at the meeting, which approved all the items on the agenda.The group will continue to focus on its capex programmes with critical importance to improve asset integrity, operational efficiency, reliability, cost optimisation, capacity de-bottlenecking, and regulatory compliance, according to Abdulla Yaaqob al-Hay, acting manager Privatised Companies Affairs Department, QatarEnergy.In terms of capex over the next five years, Qatar Fertiliser is expected to incur QR9.2bn in various projects, including a new ammonia train. As per the capex plan, QR4.4bn will be spent in relation to the new ammonia train. In addition, other expenditures will include maintenance related shutdowns.The EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the new Ammonia-7 train was awarded to a consortium of ThyssenKrupp and Consolidated Contractors Company. The new train is intended to be operational by the first quarter of 2026.The fertiliser segment spent QR729mn in capex in 2022. This includes initial capex relating to the new blue ammonia train (QR35mn).About Qatar Petrochemicals, it said in terms of capex over the next five years, the segment is slated to spend QR1.3bn on various projects. As per the capex plan, QR440mn will be spent in relation to the new PVC project in form of capex.As per the Principles Agreement, the total capex outlay relating to the new PVC plant will be shared between IQ and Mesaieed Petrochemical Company in a ratio of 44.8% and 55.2%, respectively; equivalent to their share in Qatar Vinyl Company based on a new joint venture agreement.The segment had seen capex of QR371mn in 2022, primarily related to maintenance-related expenditures, routine fixed asset additions, and HSE improvements. This also includes IQ’s share of QR7mn towards capex on the new PVC project.Qatar Steel is expected to incur QR0.5bn in capex in 2023-27 in various projects including asset replacements, HSE and reliability improvements.The segment incurred a capex of QR62mn in 2022, primarily related to routine property, plant and equipment additions.

Gulf Times
Business
Lower food, restaurant prices drag Qatar's inflation month-on-month in February: PSA

Qatar's inflation, based on consumer price index (CPI), was down 0.06% month-on-month in February 2023, mainly dragged by lower food and restaurant prices, according to the official estimates.However, the country's CPI inflation was higher by 4.41% on an annualised basis this February, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The country's core inflation (excluding housing and utilities) rather rose 0.09% and 3.37% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively during the review period."The average inflation will ease substantially this year to 2.3%, less than half the average pace of 5% in 2022," said the latest Economic Insight report for the Middle East, commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales or ICAEW and compiled by Oxford Economics.The restaurants and hotels group, with a 6.61% weight, saw its index shrink 2.12% on a monthly basis but shot up 4.45% year-on-year in February 2023, the PSA said.Food and beverages group, which carry 13.45% weight in the CPI basket, became cheaper by 1.45% and 1.29% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in February 2023.The index of clothing and footwear, which has a 5.58% weight in the CPI basket, declined 0.8% month-on-month but gained 0.7% on a yearly basis in February 2023.The index of housing, water, electricity and other fuels – with a weight of 21.17% in the CPI basket – was down 0.62% month-on-month but showed an 8.94% growth year-on-year in February 2023.The index of miscellaneous goods and services, with a 5.65% weight, was down 0.28% and 0.23% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in the review period.However, the index of recreation and culture, which has an 11.13% weight in the CPI basket, was seen gaining 3.75% and 20.8% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in February 2023.The index of transport, which has a 14.59% weight, grew 0.24% and 2.38% on monthly and yearly basis respectively in February 2023.The sector has the direct linkage to the dismantling of the administered prices in petrol and diesel as part of the government measures to lower the subsidies.The index of furniture and household equipment, which has 7.88% weight in the CPI basket, was up 0.11% month-on-month but fell 0.04% on an annualised basis this February.Communication, which carries a 5.23% weight, saw its group index tread a flat path month-on-month but shrank 4.84% year-on-year in the review period.The education sector, which has 7.33% in the CPI basket, saw its index was unchanged on a monthly basis but shot up 4.26% year-on-year this February.The index of health, which has a 2.65% weight, was flat month-on-month but expanded 1.62% year-on-year in February 2023.The tobacco index, which has a 0.28% weight, was unchanged on yearly and monthly basis in the review period.

Gulf Times
Business
Global banking woes drag QSE 102 points; M-cap erodes QR4bn

Global banking woes continued to dampen sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which on Wednesday lost more than 102 points and its key index settled below 10,200 levels.Reflecting the concerns in Credit Suisse, after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the 20-stock Qatar Index tanked 1% to 10113.73 points.The market, which was skewed towards decliners, however touched an intraday high of 10,300 points.The domestic institutions were seen squaring off their position in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened further to 5.31%.The real estate sector saw higher than average selling pressure in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR4.47bn or 0.76% erosion to QR583.6bn, mainly on account of small and microcap segments.About 66% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market, which saw a total of 0.3mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.82mn changed hands across 18 deals.The foreign retail investors’ weakened net buying had its influence in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than the main barometer of the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shrank 0.5%, All Share Index by 0.44% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.25% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The realty index plummeted 1.02%, consumer goods and services (0.92%), banks and financial services (0.51%), industrials (0.35%) and telecom (0.07%); while transport gained 0.14% and insurance (0.09%).Major shakers in the main market included Qatar Electricity and Water, QIIB, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Doha Bank, Qatar Oman Investment, Inma Holding, Qatari German Medical Devices, Woqod, Qatar National Cement, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco, Mazaya Qatar and Milaha.Nevertheless, Gulf Warehousing, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Nakilat, Al Khaleej Takaful, Zad Holding and Vodafone Qatar were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The domestic funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR1.12mn compared with net buyers of QR65.19mn on March 14.The foreign retail investors’ net buying declined noticeably to QR0.49mn against QR5.16mn the previous day.The Gulf individual investors’ net buying eased perceptibly to QR0.14mn compared to QR1.55mn on Tuesday.However, the Gulf institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR19.82mn compared with net sellers of QR1.05mn on March 14.The local retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR4.76mn against net sellers of QR4.18mn the previous day.The Arab individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR3.38mn compared with net sellers of QR13.46mn on Tuesday.The foreign institutions’ net profit booking decreased substantially to QR27.46mn against QR53.23mn on March 14.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure compared with net buyers to the tune of QR0.01mn the previous day.The main market saw a 16% fall in trade volumes to 94.2mn shares, 16% in value to QR371.35mn and 13% in deals to 14,623.

Hanadi Khalife, head of Middle East, ICAEW.
Business
Qatar's non-oil investments help its economy remain resilient: ICAEW

With the World Cup economic boom starting to ease, Qatar's economic growth will be affected but higher investments in non-hydrocarbons will help it remain resilient this year, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has said.According to the first quarter or Q1 report, Qatar’s expansion will be led by the non-oil sector this year, though the pace of activity will nearly halve to 3.3%, from over 6% in 2022."With the economic boom from the World Cup starting to slow down, GDP (gross domestic product) growth will be affected. However, continuing to increase investment in the non-oil sectors and doubling down on reforms will help Qatar remain resilient this year and reach the goals charted in its National Vision 2030,” said Hanadi Khalife, Head of Middle East, ICAEW.Scott Livermore, ICAEW economic advisor, and chief economist and managing director, Oxford Economics Middle East, said though much of the activity last year was linked to the World Cup, the preparations for the event contributed to medium-term diversification goals through strong gains in construction and real estate, transportation, and financial services."These gains will slow in the coming year, and some areas of the economy, such as accommodation and food services, may see a dip in the near term. However, we think the ongoing expansion of gas capacity and the pipeline of planned projects, will draw foreign direct investment (FDI) and support non-oil activity," he said.Further reforms will also play a role in attracting FDI as Qatar keeps up with the growing competition in the region, according to him.The latest Economic Insight report for the Middle East, commissioned by ICAEW and compiled by Oxford Economics, revealed that Qatar’s economic growth is strong while it still enjoys a boost from the World Cup in 2022.Qatar’s growth likely exceeded 4% in 2022, marking the fastest pace since 2015 and leaving the economy the largest it has ever been. However, the 2023 GDP growth forecast is still unchanged at 2.7%.Although energy prices are easing from 2022 levels, they will "remain elevated", supportingQatar’s macroeconomic environment, the report said.Due to higher prices in main export commodities, Qatar enjoyed one of the largest terms-of-trade improvements in 2022, with recent data showing the trade surplus widening to QR355.2bn last year.As oil and gas prices remain above levels from early 2022, the external position will only deteriorate marginally this year, with the current account surplus at 15.6% of GDP, down from 17.1% in 2022.Expecting public spending to remain "supportive" of growth in 2023; it said high commodity prices underpinned a 54% year-on-year rise in budget revenue in 2022, pushing Qatar’s budget surplus to QR89bn, the largest since 2014.Qatar’s 2023 budget, based on a reduction in spending and an oil price of $65 per barrel, projects a surplus of QR29bn, equivalent to 3.4% of GDP.Forecasting Brent at $86 per barrel in 2023, which is "significantly" above the budgeted price; the report said on that basis, a modest rise in spending and a surplus of QR82bn (9.7% of GDP) is expected.

Gulf Times
Business
Fears of SVB global contagion drag QSE 192 points

The fears of global contagion of Silicon Valley Bank continued its toll in the global bourses, including the Qatar Stock Exchange, which on Tuesday plunged 192 points and capitalisation eroded in excess of QR11bn.An across the board selling, especially in real estate and telecom, dragged the 20-stock Qatar Index 1.85% to 10,216.03 points.The market, which was skewed towards decliners, however touched an intraday high of 10,395 points.The foreign institutions were increasingly squaring off their position in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened further to 4.35%.The Arab retail investors turned net profit takers in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR11.49bn or 1.92% erosion to QR588.07bn, mainly on account of mid and large cap segments.More than 80% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market, which saw a total of 0.23mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.73mn changed hands across 24 deals.The Gulf institutions 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 declining slower than the main barometer of the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shrank 1.61%, All Share Index by 1.65% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.71% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover fell amidst higher volumes.The realty index plummeted 3.05%, telecom (2.13%), banks and financial services (1.76%), insurance (1.59%), transport (1.37%) and consumer goods and services (0.74%).Major shakers in the main market included Al Meera, Inma Holding, Gulf International Services, Nakilat, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Islamic Bank, QNB, Masraf Al Rayan, Lesha Bank, Qatari German Medical Devices, Widam Food, Industries Qatar, Qamco, Qatar Insurance, Ezdan and United Development Company. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Aamal Company, Milaha, Woqod and Qatar Industrial Manufacturing were among the gainers in the main market.The foreign institutions’ net selling increased substantially to QR53.23mn compared to QR11.18mn on March 13.The Arab retail investors were net sellers to the tune of QR13.46mn against net buyers of QR4.03mn on Monday.However, the domestic funds’ net buying expanded significantly to QR65.19mn compared to QR36.14mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR5.16mn against net sellers of QR1.02mn on March 13.The Gulf individual investors were net buyers to the tune of QR1.55mn compared with net sellers of QR2.26mn on Monday.The Arab institutions were also net buyers to the tune of QR0.01mn against no major net exposure the previous day.The local retail investors’ net selling weakened drastically to QR4.18mn compared to QR21.99mn on March 13.The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking shrank perceptibly to QR1.05mn against QR4.17mn on Monday.The main market saw a 16% fall in trade volumes to 112.48mn shares and less than 1% in value to QR443.73mn but on 11% growth in deals to 16,807.

Doha Bank board of directors addressing shareholders at the AGM. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Business
Doha Bank’s capital adequacy to remain strong; eyes revenue optimisation and cost reduction

Doha Bank's capital adequacy is slated to remain strong in the short term to medium term given the credit growth projections, without further capital raising and its focus will continue to be revenue optimisation and cost reduction as part of its future plans.This was disclosed by the bank at an investor presentation provided at the annual general assembly meeting, where shareholders approved all the items on the agenda.In support of its "strong" current capital position, the bank highlighted that CET1 (common equity Tier 1) stood at 8.50%; Tier1 at 10.50%; total CAR at 12.50%; ICAAP (Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process) at 1%; and management buffer at 0.50%.With a view to strengthening the lending capacity and improving the competitive edge and prospects for achieving the strategic goals, Doha Bank during the past years focused on enhancing its Tier 1 capital base and CAR through the issuance of Tier 1 capital instruments amounting to QR2bn in each issuance (total of QR4bn) qualifying as additional Tier 1 capital for Doha Bank in Qatar as per the terms and requirements of Qatar Central Bank.Risk and capital management will also remain one of the core attention areas for bank, especially in view of the impact of geopolitical, macroeconomic and other global changes.Factoring in the rapid evolution to technological landscape, "Doha Bank is considering automation, digitisation, and innovation at the heart of its strategy," its chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani said in the board of directors report presented at the meeting.The bank would continue embracing emerging technologies to build customer-centric solutions, he said."As the financial services industry stands at an inflection point, and several disruptive forces such as digitisation, competitive pressure, and fast evolving regulations are enforcing a bigger change; Doha Bank remains fully committed towards its customers, shareholders, people, and larger society," he said.Highlighting the rise of digital transactions, an investor presentation report made at the general assembly said 90% of all cash transactions are performed through ATMs bulk cash deposit machines and ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines).The bank witnessed "significant" growth in E-Commerce as the online payment gateway (OPG) number of transactions increased 71% on an annualised basis in 2022.Moreover, the lender witnessed local fund transfers improve from 75% to 78% and international fund transfer improve from 44% to 55% year-on-year in 2022.Sheikh Fahad said the bank enhanced and strengthened its financial position; and achieved an impressive return on average shareholders’ equity and average assets.

Gulf Times
Business
SVB global contagion weighs on QSE as index tanks 164 points

Reflecting the global contagion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the Qatar Stock Exchange on Monday saw its key index plummet more than 164 points and capitalisation erode QR10bn.A higher than average selling pressure, particularly at the banking counter, led the 20-stock Qatar Index to plunge 1.49% to 10,408.42 points.The market, which was skewed towards decliners, however touched an intraday high of 10,577 points.The local retail investors were seen bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 2.55%.The foreign institutions turned net profit takers in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR9.69bn or 1.59% erosion to QR599.56bn, mainly on account of mid and small cap segments.The Gulf funds were also seen bearish in the main market, which saw a total of 0.07mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.63mn changed hands across 38 deals.The Gulf retail investors were increasingly into net selling in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shrank 1.17%, the All Share Index by 1.24% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.13% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the rise.The banks and financial services sector index tanked 2.17%, real estate (0.6%), consumer goods and services (0.53%), insurance (0.34%), transport (0.25%) and industrials (0.01%); while telecom was up 0.01%.About 66% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market with major shakers being Beema, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qatar Islamic Bank, Mazaya Qatar, QNB, Lesha Bank, Qatari German Medical Devices, Widam Food, Ezdan and Nakilat.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Al Meera, Baladna, Vodafone Qatar, Medicare Group and Mekdam Holding were among the gainers in the main market.The local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR21.99mn against net buyers of QR2.7mn on March 12.The foreign institutions were net sellers to the extent of QR11.18mn compared with net buyers of QR11.72mn on Sunday.The Gulf institutions turned net profit takers to the tune of QR4.17mn against net buyers of QR2.78mn the previous day.The Gulf individual investors’ net selling increased noticeably to QR2.26mn compared to QR0.72mn on March 12.The foreign retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR1.02mn against net buyers of QR4.4mn on Sunday.However, the domestic funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR36.14mn compared with net sellers of QR9.26mn the previous day.The Arab retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR4.03mn against net profit takers of QR11.63mn on March 12.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the second straight session.The main market saw a 37% jump in trade volumes to 134.16mn shares, 76% in value to QR444mn and 82% in deals to 15,137.

Gulf Times
Business
Building permits issued at national level decline year-on-year in February; but Doha, Umm Slal and Al Rayyan defy trend: PSA

Doha and Umm Slal municipalities witnessed double-digit growth year-on-year in building permits, even as at the national level, the permits issued were on the decline this February, according to official estimates.Qatar saw as many as 644 building permits issued in February 2023, which declined 7.6% on an annualised basis in the review period, according to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority.Al Rayyan, Doha and Al Wakra municipalities together constituted 70% of the total building permit issued in February 2023.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 an annualised basis, total building permits issued in Doha surged 13.4%, Umm Slal (12%) and Al Rayyan (6.8%); whereas those in Al Shamal tanked 50%, Al Shahaniya (41.2%), Al Wakra (23%), Al Daayen (18.5%) and Al Khor (12.1%).Of the total number of new building permits issued, Al Rayyan constituted 156 permits or 24% of the total, followed by Doha 135 (21%), Al Wakra 127 (20%), Al Daayen 123 (19%), Umm Slal 56 56 (9%), Al Khor 29 (5%), Al Shahaniya 10 (2%) and Al Shamal eight (1%).On a monthly basis, total building permits issued in the country declined 11% with Al Shahaniya reporting a 68% plunge, Al Shamal (53%), Al Khor (34%), Al Wakra (21%), Al Rayyan (13%) and Doha (4%); even as those in Umm Slal and Al Daayen increased 47% and 11% respectively in the review period.The new building permits (residential and non-residential) constituted 251 permits or 39% of the total issued in February 2023, followed by additions 366 (57%) and fencing 27 (4%).Of the new residential buildings permits, villas topped the list, accounting for 82% or 164 permits, apartments 11% (22), and dwellings of housing loans 4% (seven).Among the non-residential sector, commercial structures accounted for 47% or 24 permits, the industrial buildings as workshops and factories 29% (15 permits) and mosques 16% (eight permits).Qatar saw a total of 343 building completion certificates issued in February 2023, of which 268 or 78% was for the new buildings (residential and non-residential) and 75 or 22% for additions.On an annualised basis, total building completion certificates issued in the country saw 1.2% fall with Al Shamal reporting 75% decline, Doha (16.2%), Al Wakra (8.8%) and Al Rayyan (8.1%); while those in Al Shahaniya saw 166.7% surge, Umm Slal (52.6%) and Al Daayen (31.4%) in the review period.Qatar saw an 11% month-on-month contraction in the total building completion certificates issued in February 2023 with Al Shamal registering a 40% decline, Doha (30%), Al Rayyan (23%) and Al Daayen (17%); while Al Khor saw 143% growth, Umm Slal (21%), Al Shahaniya (14%) and Al Wakra (5%).Al Wakra constituted 83 or 24% of the total number of building completion certificates issued in the review period, Al Rayyan 23% or 79, Al Daayen 20% or 67, Doha 17% or 57, Umm Slal 8% or 29, Al Khor 5% or 17, Al Shahaniya 2% or eight and Al Shamal 1% or three in February 2023.Of the 210 residential buildings completion certificates issued, as many as 181 or 86% were for villas, 11 or 5% for dwellings of housing loans and nine or 4% for apartments.Of the 181 villas completion certificates issued in February 2023, as many as 51 were in Al Rayyan, 42 in Al Daayen, 36 in Al Wakra, 20 each in Doha and Umm Slal, eight in Al Khor and two each in Al Shamal and Al Shahaniya.In the case of nine apartments, Doha issued five completion certificates and one each in Umm Slal, Al Rayyan, Al Daayen and Al Khor.

Nakilat has achieved sustainable and long-term growth over the past year, demonstrating its commitment to innovative sustainability and operational excellence
Business
LNG fleet expansion helps Nakilat eye robust growth in global markets

Nakilat, whose liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers account for about 10% of the global LNG carrying capacity, has said its greater fleet capacity and increased operational efficiency provide it with a "competitive" edge as its expands its international shipping portfolio through the recent strategic expansion of Nakilat’s fleet with an additional four LNG carriers, and the improved performance of its joint ventures and support services operating in the shipyard,Nakilat has achieved sustainable and long-term growth over the past year, demonstrating its commitment to innovative sustainability and operational excellence, its chairman Abdulaziz al-Muftah told shareholders yesterday at the annual general assembly meeting, which approved the 2022 results and 13% dividend."This commitment has provided Nakilat with a greater fleet capacity and increased operational efficiency, providing us with a competitive edge in the LNG shipping sector, as the company expands its international shipping portfolio," he said.With a fleet strength of 74 vessels – one of the largest LNG shipping fleets in the world, Nakilat’s portfolio comprises 69 LNG carriers, four liquefied petroleum gas carriers and one floating storage regasification unit – the company is backbone of the transportation link in Qatar’s LNG supply chain, according to him."Our LNG fleet has a combined carrying capacity of over 9mn cubic metres, which is about 10% of the global LNG fleet carrying capacity," he said, adding the majority of Nakilat’s vessels are fixed with long-term charters to reputable counterparties, creating a "steady and healthy" cash flow for the company.Nakilat followed through its expansion plans with the delivery of “Global Sealine”, a technologically advanced LNG carrier new-build during 2022, demonstrating commitment to innovation, sustainability, and operational excellence."This allowed Nakilat to provide greater fleet capacity and flexibility to its customers and gave the company a significant competitive advantage in the energy transportation sector," al-Muftah said, adding this also contributed towards the company’s efforts at reducing its carbon footprint and operating sustainably apace growing its international shipping portfolio.He said the company’s resilience and the convergent efforts have enabled its sustained growth momentum and business continuity, creating immense value for both its customers and shareholders.With a solid sense of direction from the company’s long-term expansion strategy and opportunities that re-emphasised its importance in achieving its targets, Nakilat has been smoothly sailing towards making significant contributions and notable accomplishments during 2022, al-Muftah said in the latest board report.Supported by its Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard, Nakilat’s joint venture companies continue adding strategic value to its operations through dedicated services, including ship repair, offshore fabrication, as well as a range of maritime services, all of which contribute towards establishing Qatar as a shipping and maritime hub, in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030, according to him.

MPHC board members address shareholders at the AGM. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Business
MPHC capex at QR1.8bn for 2023-27; PVC plant to be completed by 2025

Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding (MPHC) has earmarked a total capital expenditure (capex) of QR1.8bn for 2023-27 as part of efforts to enhance capacity."Going forward, the group will continue to consider capex investments to enhance capacity, reliability, efficiency and HSE performance, with a total budgeted outlay of QR1.8bn over a period of five years from 2023 till 2027," said its board report, presented at the general assembly, which approved net profit and dividend for 2022.Addressing the shareholders, MPHC chairman Ahmad Saif al-Sulaiti said the capex includes MPHC’s share in the new PVC (polyvinyl chloride) project funding.MPHC has already given the go-ahead to the Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC) to construct a PVC facility with a production capacity of 350,000 metric tonnes.On segment-wise capex, the report said the petrochemicals are expected to spend QR1.1bn on various projects, including turnarounds and dock jetty enhancement.Other projects will include, but are not limited to, operations (HSE, plant reliability, and integrity) and maintenance shutdowns."These projects will improve facilities’ operational integrity, reliability and output, and reduce emissions while ensuring regulatory compliance, and will lead to improved operating cash flows via added efficiencies," it said.In 2022, the segmental capex incurred was QR249mn. Q-Chem’s turnaround accounted for about 55% of the current year’s capex, with two additional projects accounting for most of the remaining spending.These projects include the Q-Chem sixth furnace project and the Q-Chem dock jetty enhancement.The sixth furnace project is currently in the commissioning phase and ensures sustainable production volumes while ensuring a more consistent consumption of allocated ethane volumes."The project is progressing as planned, and the furnace will be operational during the first quarter of 2023. The total cost incurred till date on the project amounted to QR89.7mn," it said.Highlighting that the dock jetty enhancement project is a combination of restoration and enhancement, the report said it is a critical element of infrastructure currently available and would support the segment for the foreseeable future.The chlor-alkali segment is expected to spend QR709mn on various projects.As per the capex plan, QR543mn will be spent in relation to the new PVC plant, whose construction is expected to be completed by mid-2025."The project is value accretive to MPHC and the national industrial sector. MPHC will be funding the construction of the new PVC plant equivalent to its shareholding in QVC," al-Sulaiti said.Being the first PVC plant Qatar, this project aims to position the country as a new regional player in the PVC production, while reinforcing the downstream value chain.The new plant will be integrated with the existing QVC facilities located at Mesaieed Industrial City and will source feedstock (vinyl chloride monomer) from the existing facilities.The new plant will maximise synergies on efficient water and power usage and existing supply chain capabilities, while assuring sustainable operations.The new plant aims to meet the growing demand, especially the construction industry.The PVC produced is expected to meet the domestic market demand and provide opportunities to export internationally.PVC as a product can be handled, stored, and shipped safely and seamlessly; and could be coupled with other similar products produced in Qatar to provide opportunities for optimised logistical cost structures.

Gulf Times
Business
Global concerns play spoilsport in QSE as index tanks 171 points

The global concerns on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the US and the Federal Reserve's hawkish stand on interest rates last week continued to have its dampening effect on the Qatar Stock Exchange, which Sunday plummeted 171 points and its key index closed below 10,600 points.An across the board selling – particularly in the insurance, real estate and banking counters – led the 20-stock Qatar Index knock off 1.59% to 10,565.41 points.About 88% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market, which reported 1.08% year-to-date losses.The Arab retail investors were seen net profit takers in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR9.04bn or 1.46% decrease to QR609.25bn, mainly on account of midcap segments.The Gulf individuals were also seen bearish 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 six deals.The local retail investors’ weakened net buying had its influence in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shrank 1.59%, All Share Index by 1.44% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.63% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The insurance sector index tanked 2.66%, realty (1.88%), banks and financial services (1.59%), telecom (1.4%), consumer goods and services (1.27%), industrials (1.14%) and transport (0.81%).Major shakers in the main market included Dlala, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Dukhan Bank, Aamal Company, Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Lesha Bank, QIIB, Mannai Corporation, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Insurance, QLM, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat.Nevertheless, Inma Holding, Beema, Gulf Warehousing, Milaha and Qatar Oman Investment were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The Arab retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR11.63mn compared with net buyers of QR7.17mn on March 9.The Gulf individual investors were net sellers to the extent of QR0.72mn against net buyers of QR1.42mn last Thursday.The foreign institutions’ net buying shrank markedly to QR11.72mn compared to QR19.92mn the previous day.The local retail investors’ net buying weakened perceptibly to QR2.7mn against QR4.63mn on March 9.The Gulf institutions’ net buying eased marginally to QR2.78mn compared to QR2.88mn last Thursday.However, the foreign individual investors’ net buying grew notably to QR4.4mn against QR2.51mn the previous day.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking shrank substantially to QR9.26mn compared to QR38.57mn on March 9.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net buyers to the extent of QR0.03mn last Thursday.The main market saw 17% contraction in trade volumes to 97.87mn shares, 34% in value to QR252.93mn and 32% in deals to 8,329.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE amends list of securities eligible for margin trading, market making and liquidity provision

Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) has amended the list of securities eligible for the margin trading, market making and liquidity provision.This has been done according to the QSE indices semiannual review and will be effective from April 2, 2023.The eligible securities are those included in main barometer QE Index and in Al Rayan Islamic Index.Stocks with all four quarterly turnovers exceeding 10% and all four quarterly frequency of trading exceeding 80% from the trading days in each quarter as well as units of QE Index ETF and Al Rayan Qatar ETF, the exchange traded funds sponsored by Doha Bank and Masraf Al Rayan respectively, are also eligible.The list of securities eligible for market making and margin trading are QNB, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, Commercial Bank, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Nakilat, Woqod, Qamco, Milaha, QIIB, Gulf International Services, Ooredoo, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Barwa, Baladna, Doha Bank, Ezdan, and Al Rayan Qatar ETF.The list also includes Salam International Investment, Vodafone Qatar, United Development Company, Qatari Investors Group, Qatar National Cement, Al Meera, Mazaya Qatar, Qatar German Company for Medical Devices, Lesha Bank, Medicare Group, Inma Holding, Mannai Corporation, QE Index ETF, Alijarah Holding, Dlala, Qatar Oman Investment, Widam Food, Al Khaleej Takaful and Mekdam Holding.However, the communique said Qatar Insurance, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing and Qatar Islamic Insurance are not eligible anymore for both activities.All listed companies in the main market and in the venture market at the QSE and all ETFs units listed are eligible for liquidity provision.Through margin trading, a financial services company funds a percentage of the securities’ market value purchased for its client, pursuant to the agreement governing the relation between them.Margin trading will allow investors to purchase securities that are partially financed by a loan or credit facility made available by a margin lender, a member licensed to provide such services.It is understood that Qatar has adopted a 60:40 method wherein a financial services company funds 40% of the securities’ market value purchased for its client pursuant to the agreement governing the relation between them.Market makers play a key role in providing liquidity to facilitate market efficiency and in the absence of them, it usually takes longer for buyers and sellers to match, translating as lower liquidity and higher trading costs owing to difficulties in entry and exit.Liquidity provision is an important development and one of the key components in the overall market development strategy of the QSE and liquidity providers would enable them to submit constant quotes for the sale or purchase of a particular security to increase its liquidity as per the controls and conditions set forth in the liquidity provision agreement.

Gulf Times
Business
Private vehicles sales accelerate Qatar's auto sector month-on-month in January 2023: PSA

Qatar's automobile sector began 2023 on a solid note with it witnessing a robust double-digit month-on-month acceleration in sales of private personal use and transport vehicles in January 2023, according to the official statistics.The country saw 6,389 new vehicles registered in January 2023, of which as much as 92% was for the private use, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The new vehicle registrations registered a 40.2% surge on a monthly basis in January 2023 but fell 20% on an annualised basis.The registration of new private vehicles stood at 4,988, which shot up 51.9% and 16.58% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in January 2023. Such vehicles constituted 78% of the total new vehicles registered in the country in the review period.The registration of new private transport vehicles stood at 918, which grew 21.8% on a monthly basis but plummeted 46.4% year-on-year in January 2023. Such vehicles constituted 14% of the total new vehicles in the review period.The registration of new private motorcycles stood at 213 units, which plunged 31.5% and 85.5% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in January 2023. These constituted 3% of the total new vehicles in the review period.The registration of new heavy equipment stood at 162, which constituted 3% of the total registrations in January 2023. Their registrations had seen a 76.1% expansion month-on-month but shrank 27.7% on a yearly basis in the review period.The registration of trailers amounted to 64 units, which was unchanged from December 2022 levels even as it reported 52.4% surge on an annualised basis in the review period.The new registration of other non-specified vehicles stood at 44 units, which shrank 17% and 83.5% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in January 2023.The renewal of registration was reported in 82,840 units, which saw 32.6% and 10.8% increase on monthly and yearly basis respectively in January 2023. It constituted 59% of the clearing of vehicle-related process in the review period.The transfer of ownership was reported in 33,150 vehicles in January 2023, which zoomed 36.7% and 8.1% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively. It constituted 23% of the clearing of vehicle-related process in the review period.The number of lost/damaged vehicles stood at 7,955 units, which shot up 30.4% month-on-month but shrank 17.4% on a yearly basis in January 2023.The modified vehicles’ registration amounted to 6,120, which expanded 111% and 36.2% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in January 2023.The cancelled vehicles stood at 3,038 units, which declined 17.9% on monthly basis but showed a 15.5% growth on an annualised basis in the review period.The number of vehicles meant for exports stood at 1,505 units, which reported 41.1% surge on a monthly basis but was down 13.3% year-on-year in January 2023.The re-registration of vehicles stood at 100, which reported 42.9% increase month-on-month but plummeted 38.7% on yearly basis in January 2023.The clearing of vehicle-related processes stood at 141,074 units, which grew 34.2% and 6.9% on monthly and yearly basis respectively in the review period.Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports had handled 5,708 RORO (vehicles) in January 2023, which registered an 8.86% and 0.44% contraction on monthly and yearly basis respectively. Hamad Port alone handled 5,667 units in January 2023.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE maintains upward trajectory despite US rate uncertainty; M-cap adds QR7bn

Notwithstanding the concerns on the US rates, the Qatar Stock Exchange remained on an upward trajectory for the second consecutive week and its key index gained as much as 115 points in key index and QR7bn in capitalisation.The banking, real estate, telecom, industrials and consumer goods counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index grew 1.08% this week which saw the Qatar Financial Center report that found the country’s private sector rebound in February this year on improved demand in the non-energy sectors.The Gulf funds were seen bullish this week, which saw the Qatar Development Bank join hands with the QSE by providing funds up to QR4.6mn or 70% of the listing fees of every eligible small and medium-sized enterprise wishing to get listed on the venture market.About 54% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market this week, which saw Dukhan Bank enter into pact with Wasata Financial Services and Commercial Bank Financial Services for liquidity provision.The foreign retail investors were seen net buyers this week which saw Qatar Electricity and Water Company enter into a nine-year gas turbine service contract with General Electric.The Gulf individual investors were also seen net buyers in the main market this week, which saw the QSE announce rejigging of its main barometer by including Vodafone Qatar in place of Qatar Insurance, effective from April 1.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main market this week which saw a total of 0.61mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange traded fund QATR worth QR1.47mn trade across 39 deals.Trade turnover and volumes were on the decline in the main market this week, which saw as many as 0.07mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange traded fund QETF valued at QR0.74mn change hands across 39 transactions.Market capitalisation was seen gaining QR7.03bn or 1.15% to QR618.29bn on the back of mid and small cap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute about 62% of the total trade volume in the main market.The Total Return Index gained 1.26%, All Share Index by 1.28% and All Islamic Index by 0.75% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The banks and financial services sector index shot up 2.05%, realty (1.62%), telecom (1.35%), industrials (1.23%) and consumer goods and services (1.11%); while insurance declined 3.14% and transport (2.59%) this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Mannai Corporation, Salam International Investment, Mazaya Qatar, Beema, Dukhan Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, QNB, Lesha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Estithmar Holding, Barwa, Vodafone Qatar and Gulf Warehousing this week which saw Capital Intelligence (CI) affirm the long-term foreign currency rating (LT FCR) and short-term foreign currency rating (ST FCR) of Commercial Bank at ‘A+’ and ‘A1’, respectively with "stable" outlook.Nevertheless, QLM, Doha Insurance, United Development Company, Qatar Insurance, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Dlala, Qatari German Medical Devices, Baladna, Aamal Company, Qatari Investors Group, Ooredoo, Nakilat and Milaha in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week which saw CI affirm the (LT FCR and ST FCR of Ahlibank at ‘A+’ and ‘A1’, respectively with "stable" outlook.The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR25.69mn compared with net sellers of QR64.75mn the week ended March 2.The foreign individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR9.53mn against net sellers of QR4.66mn a week ago.The Gulf individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.42mn compared with net profit takers of QR0.98mn the previous week.The Arab funds turned net buyers to the extent of QR0.03mn against net sellers of QR0.09mn the week ended March 2.The Arab individual investors’ net selling shrank noticeably to QR1.51mn compared to QR6.81mn a week ago.However, the domestic institutions’ net selling increased significantly to QR107.85mn against QR61.79mn the previous week.The local retail investors were net sellers to the tune of QR12.13mn compared with net buyers of QR7.37mn the week ended March 2.The foreign funds’ net buying weakened substantially to QR84.79mn against QR131.71mna week ago.Total trade volume in the main market shrank 12% to 576.01mn shares, value by 26% to QR1.67bn and deals by 19% to 54,713.

Under the new QSE index practices, a review is carried out twice a year to ensure that the selection and weighting of the constituents continues to reflect the purpose of the index.
Business
Vodafone to replace QIC in QSE main barometer from April

Vodafone Qatar will replace Qatar Insurance in the Qatar Stock Exchange’s (QSE) main barometer QE Index, effective April 1.Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company will be removed from QE Al Rayan Islamic Index.Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance will join QE All Share Index and QE Insurance Index; while Ahli Bank will be removed from QE All Share Index and QE Banks and Financial services Index.Under the new index practices, a review is carried out twice a year to ensure that the selection and weighting of the constituents continue to reflect the purpose of the index.The other constituents of the main barometer will remain QNB, Industries Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Woqod, Qatar Electricity and Water, Ooredoo, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Milaha, Barwa, Qamco, Doha Bank, Gulf International Services, Baladna, Estithmar Holding and Ezdan.All listed companies are ranked by giving free float market capitalisation with a 50% weight and average daily value traded also 50% weight. Companies with velocity less than 5% are excluded from the review, as are entities whereby a single shareholder can only own less than 1% of outstanding shares.Any qualifying component exceeding 15% weight in the index as of market close March 28, 2023 will have its weight capped at the 15% level and excess weight allocated to remaining stocks proportionately.The index free-float for a stock is total outstanding shares minus shares directly owned by government and its affiliates, those held by founders and board members and shareholdings above 10% or greater of the total outstanding (except those held by those held by pension funds in the country).The other constituents of the Al Rayan Islamic Index are Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, Milaha, Woqod, Ooredoo, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, QIIB, Barwa, Qatar Electricity and Water, United Development Company, Qamco, Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan, Al Meera Consumer Goods, Baladna, Qatar National Cement, Medicare Group, Qatari Investors Group, Gulf Warehousing and Estithmar Holding.The bourse has seven sectors – banks and financial services (with 13 constituents), insurance (seven), industrials (10), real estate (four), telecom (two), transportation (three) and consumer goods and services (11) in the ‘All Share Index’.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE defies global concerns as its key index gains 30 points

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Wednesday gained as much as 30 points and its key index surpassed the 10,750 levels, defying the general declining trend in the global markets in view of the interest rate hike concerns in the US.The banking counter witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.28% to 10,752.32 points.The market, which was skewed towards shakers, regained from an intraday low of 10,628 points although losers outnumbered gainers.The local retail investors were seen net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, whose year-to-date gains improved to 0.67%.The foreign institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR0.39bn or 0.06% increase to QR620.06bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The domestic institutions’ net selling was seen weakening marginally in the main market, which saw a total of 0.33mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.08mn changed hands across 27 deals.The foreign retail investors turned net profit takers 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 0.46% and the All Share Index by 0.45%, while the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) was down 0.03% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the rise.The banks and financial services sector index shot up 1%, followed by realty (0.27%), telecom (0.11%) and consumer goods and services (0.03%); while transport declined 1.09%, industrials (0.07%) and insurance (0.05%).Major gainers in the main market included Mannai Corporation, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Islamic Bank, Gulf Warehousing, Barwa and QNB.Nevertheless, about 63% of the traded constituents were in the red with major losers being Aamal Company, Doha Insurance, Ooredoo, Qatari German Medical Devices, Baladna, Lesha Bank, Al Meera, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The local retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.71mn compared with net sellers of QR18.15mn on March 7.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking eased marginally to QR20.22mn against QR20.23mn the previous day.However, the Arab retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR4.41mn compared with net buyers of QR7.76mn on Tuesday.The Gulf institutions were net profit takers to the extent of QR1.01mn against net buyers of QR8.06mn on March 7.The Gulf retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.9mn compared with net buyers of QR1.39mn the previous day.The foreign institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR23.55mn against QR34.94mn on Tuesday.The foreign individual investors’ net buying weakened marginally to QR1.27mn compared to QR1.76mn on March 7.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the fifth straight session.The main market saw a 2% jump in trade volumes to 157.35mn shares, 19% in value to QR480.12mn and 15% in deals to 14,895.

QDB CEO Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi unveils the co-investment programme for start-ups at Investment Forum.
Business
QDB unveils first of its kind co-investment programme for start-ups; pitches QR3.65mn per deal

Qatar Development Bank (QDB) Tuesday unveiled a co-investment product for start-ups, the first of its kind in the country, with it investing QR3.65mn per deal and allowing local and global funds to provide part of the required capital.This was announced by QDB acting chief executive officer Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi at the bank's fifth Investment Forum, held in co-operation with Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group business.About the co-investment opportunity for the local and global funds, al-Sowaidi said under the new programme, "we will enable private investors and local and international funds to provide part of the required capital for start-ups with QDB investing up to QR3.65mn per deal."This, according to him, would reduce the risks carried by individual and corporate investors and complete investment rounds more effectively.More than 870 start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from QDB's products and support so far with more than QR7.3bn deployed in direct and indirect financing since its inception."This includes QR253mn in 2022 and creating over 600 highly skilled jobs in sustainable and innovative businesses," he said.Since the inception of its investment fund, valued at QR365mn, al-Sowaidi said it has launched a range of products such as SME Equity Fund or 'Istithmar', which is aimed at investing in start-ups.The lender also revised 'Ithmar', a Shariah-compliant equity financing programme in which QDB funds up to 90% of a project, targeting the very early stage companies, according to him.Regarding 'Ithmar', he said the bank has revisited the seed programme and upgraded it with developments in the industry and accordingly doubled the ticket size to QR1.8mn.Through its various initiatives and programmes, QDB aims to cement Qatar's position as an ideal ecosystem for entrepreneurship where demand meets opportunity to foster innovation and growth, he said.QDB's latest efforts have been focused on creating new initiatives specifically designed for emerging and growth oriented sub-sectors such as cybersecurity, deep tech, fintech and sportstech, al-Sowaidi said."Our efforts to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem goes beyond investments with QDB providing capacity building training programmes to qualify more than 60 investors to actively engage within the investment sector," he said.Through its investment Bootcamp, QDB educates new and seasoned investors on how to identity and evaluate emerging opportunities and provide guidance and advice on the investment process."Qatar is not only emerging as a successful hub for start-ups and SME growth but one that promises many opportunities for venture capitals, thanks to its fast-growing economy and untapped domains," al-Sowaidi said.The forum featured eight companies operating across industries ranging from fashion to construction technology, namely Avey, Build Hop, Cytomate, Therappy, Emma, Dana Riad, Enable, and ADGS who pitched their innovative business solutions to investors.Marc Deschamps, a unicorn entrepreneur in tech, and co-head of DAI Magister investment bank, addressed the forum, touching on emerging investment hubs. His keynote speech was followed by a discussion session with Ashraf Abu Issa, chairman and chief executive officer of Abu Issa Holding Company.This year’s investment forum, which was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Doha Tech Angels investment club, saw angel investors and representatives of venture capital funds, investment banks and public investment funds from Qatar and overseas discuss the best practices in closing investment deals and efforts to overcome challenges in the investment landscape.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar five-star hotels record improved rooms' yield in January

Qatar's five-star hotels witnessed improved rooms' yield in January 2023, even as the hospitality sector overall reported decline in average revenue available per room, according to data from the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The decline in the country's hospitality sector comes in view of a double-digit shrinkage in visitors, especially from other Arab countries and the Americas, compared to December 2022, which saw the crucial matches of FIFA World Cup, according to figures released by the PSA.In the case of five-star hotels, the average revenue per available room increased 6.75% on annualised basis to QR269 in January 2023 as the average room rate grew 5.49% to Q576 and the occupancy by 1% to 47%.However, the country's overall hospitality sector saw an 8.68% year-on-year contraction in average revenue per available room to QR200 in January 2023 although the average room rate jumped 6.27% to QR424. Nevertheless, occupancy shrank 8% to 47% in the review period.This trend in the hospitality sector’s room yield comes amidst a 44.5% month-on-month plunge in visitor arrivals to 340,405 in January 2023 with majority coming from the GCC countries and Europe. On an annualised basis, the total visitor arrivals soared 611.1% in the review period.The visitor arrivals from the GCC were 141,998 or 42% of the total; followed by Europe 100,549 or 30%; other Asia (including Oceania) 57,950 or 17%; Americas 24,540 or 7%; other Arab countries 9,446 or 3% and other African countries 6,012 or 2%.The visitor arrivals from other Arab countries fell 89.3% month-on-month, while it grew 103.1% year-on-year this January; those from the Americas shrank 64.1% on a monthly basis but soared 576.2% on yearly basis; those from other Asia (including Oceania) fell 41.8% month-on-month but gained 52.3% year-on-year; those from other African countries by fell 41.7% compared to December 2022 but soared 363.5% on annualised basis; and those from GCC were lower by 41.9% month-on-month but surged 611.1% year-on-year.The average revenue per available room in the four-star hotels plummeted 37.93% on a yearly basis to QR108 in January 2023 as the average room rate was down 3.89% to QR247 and the occupancy by 24% to 44%.The three-star hotels saw a 39.7% year-on-year contraction in average revenue per available room to QR120 as average room rate shrank 7.58% to QR195 and the occupancy by 33% to 61% in the review period.The two-star and one-star hotels' average revenue per available room declined 28.42% year-on-year to QR136 in January 2023 as the average room rate dipped 16.67% to QR165 and the occupancy by 13% to 83%.The deluxe hotel apartments saw a 10.88% year-on-year shrinkage in average revenue available per room to QR172 in January 2023 even as the average room rate in the category was seen gaining 8.12% on an annualised basis to QR386. However, the occupancy was down 10% to 44% in the review period.In the case of standard hotel apartments, the room yield decreased by 38.54% year-on-year to QR118 in January 2023 as the average room rate was down 4.8% to QR218 and occupancy by 30% to 54%.