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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal, a postgraduate in Econometrics with an advance qualification in Capital Markets and Financial Services, is Gulf Times' journalist. His coverage areas are debt and equity, hydrocarbons, international trade, environment, banks, insurance and real estate. Previously, he was in New Delhi, India as Senior Finance Correspondent of PTI.
Gulf Times
Business
Qatar's industrial production surges 4.8% year-on-year in March: PSA

Fast expansion in hydrocarbons extraction and higher production in food, non-refined petroleum products and beverages led Qatar's industrial production to surge 4.8% on an annualised basis in March 2023, according to official data.The country's industrial production index soared 4.9% month-on-month in the review period, according to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The PSA introduced IPI, a short-term quantitative index that measures the changes in the volume of production of a selected basket of industrial products over a given period, with respect to a base period 2013.The mining and quarrying index, which has a relative weight of 82.46%, saw a 6% expansion on a yearly basis owing to a 6% increase in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas and 8.3% in other mining and quarrying sectors.On a monthly basis, the index shot up 5% on account of a 5% jump in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas but other mining and quarrying sectors shrank 2.1% in the review period.However, the manufacturing index, with a relative weight of 15.85%, was down 1% year-on-year this March as there was an 11.3% contraction in the production of cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 9.1% in printing and reproduction of recorded media, 2.6% in chemicals and chemical products, and 1.4% in rubber and plastics products.Nevertheless, there was a 12.8% surge in the production of food products, 6.9% in refined petroleum products, 6.2% in beverages, and 2.4% in basic metals in the review period.On a monthly basis, the manufacturing index zoomed 3.8% owing to an 8.9% increase in the production of food products, 6.5% in beverages, 6% in chemicals and chemical products, 3.7% in refined petroleum products, andv0.9% in cement and other non-metallic mineral products in March 2023.However, there was a 2.5% decrease in the production of basic metals, 1.9% in printing and reproduction of recorded media and 1.1% in rubber and plastics products in the review period.Electricity, which has a 1.16% weight in the IPI basket, saw its index zoom 8.5% and 13.2% on an annualised and monthly basis respectively in March 2023.In the case of water, which has a 0.53% weight, the index was seen gaining 0.9% and 12.8% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period.

Investments originating from the US accounted for almost 44% of the total FDI in 2022, with projects valued at $13bn; followed by those from the UK, Italy and France, with each accounting for 21.7% ($6.47bn), 21.2% ($6.32bn) and 11.8% ($3.51bn), respectively, according to IPA Qatar.
Business
Qatar records 25-fold jump in FDI inflow to $30bn in 2022: IPAQ

Doha attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) to the tune of $29.78bn during 2022, which was almost 25 times the value of FDI projects the year before, according to the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar).Investments originating from the US accounted for almost 44% of the total FDI in 2022, with projects valued at $13bn; followed by those from the UK, Italy and France, with each accounting for 21.7% ($6.47bn), 21.2% ($6.32bn) and 11.8% ($3.51bn), respectively, the IPA Qatar said in its annual report for 2022.In 2022, projects from these four countries constituted nearly 98% of total FDI projects recorded, the report said."Last year saw us forge ahead on multiple fronts and across sectors and geographies. It has demonstrated the resilience of the country’s economy, established through a long-term strategy and decades of prudent investments," said HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Abdullah al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of IPA Qatar.A total of 135 FDI projects were announced in 2022, increasing from 82 projects in the previous year. Business services accounted for almost one-third of the total projects. Software and IT services and financial services followed with each attracting 27% and 12% of the total projects, respectively.Coal and oil and gas were also among the top sectors that attracted FDI projects. This is mostly due to the global energy crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.Highlighting that FDI projects are estimated to have created a total of 13,972 jobs in 2022; the report said this is more than twice the number of jobs created in the year before.This year, close to two-thirds of the new jobs were created in the coal, as well as the oil and gas sectors. Software & IT, Business Services and automotive OEM industries also contributed to job creation, it added.Sheikh Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, CEO, IPA Qatar, said “2022 was a solid steppingstone for IPA Qatar, marked by substantial growth and deepened engagement with the international investment community, which saw us partner with numerous organisations in line with Qatar’s economic diversification efforts."In the second quarter of 2022, Qatar’s exceptional growth in FDI accounted for a whopping 71% of investments into the Middle East.Furthermore, Qatar topped the FDI Standout Watchlist, a study conducted by fDi Intelligence that evaluated the macroeconomic and FDI trajectory of the world's top 50 FDI destinations using data from the International Monetary Fund and foreign investment monitor fDi Markets. "This truly demonstrates the country's robust business environment and abundance of opportunities for aspiring investors and entrepreneurs," IPA Qatar said.Highlighting that the US, the UK and Turkiye topped the countries with regard to partnering with Qatar; the report said as many as 51 leads were generated from the US, 15 from the UK and 12 from Turkiye.The IPA Qatar established and expanded key partnerships with organisations from the region and globally, including Iberdrola, Microsoft, Invest India and Business France, among others, as part of efforts to strengthen the FDI activities.

A higher than average demand especially for the banking equities led the 20-stock Qatar Index surge 2.04% to 10,681.79 points yesterday
Business
Gulf and foreign funds lift QSE amid US debt ceiling concerns; index vaults 213 points

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Wednesday saw its key index gain more than 213 points and capitalisation add more than QR12bn, even as global markets were mixed on concerns over the US debt ceiling.A higher than average demand especially for the banking equities led the 20-stock Qatar Index surge 2.04% to 10,681.79 points.The market, which was skewed towards movers, had recovered from an intraday low 10,503 points.The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net buying in the main market, which saw a marginal 0.01% year-to-date gains.The foreign institutions were seen bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation zoomed 1.96% to QR628.52bn, mainly on account of mid and small cap segments.More than 85% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market, which saw a total of 0.68mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.72mn changed hands across 33 deals.However, the local retail investors turned net sellers 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 shot up 2.04%, All Share Index by 2.03% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.47% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The banks and financial services sector index surged 3.48%, real estate (0.93%), industrials (0.84%), transport (0.76%), telecom (0.76%) and consumer goods and services (0.47%); while insurance declined 2.15%.Major gainers in the main market included Dlala, Qatar Oman Investment, Qatari German Medical Devices, Salam International Investment, QIIB, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Lesha Bank, Mannai Corporation, Aamal Company, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat.Nevertheless, Qatar Insurance, Zad Holding, Inma Holding, Qatar National Cement 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 QR45.76mn compared to QR9.34mn on May 16.The foreign funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR28.72mn against net sellers of QR17.47mn the previous dayHowever, the Qatari individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR36.36mn compared with net buyers of QR7.61mn on Tuesday.The domestic institutions’ net selling strengthened drastically to QR35.7mn against QR4.52mn on May 16.The Arab individuals turned net profit takers to the tune of QR1.96mn compared with net buyers of QR2.27mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR1.46mn against net buyers of QR0.1mn on Tuesday.The foreign individuals’ net buying weakened perceptibly to QR1.01mn compared to QR2.67mn on May 16.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the sixth consecutive session.The main market saw an 86% increase in trade volumes to 249.54mn shares, 73% in value to QR669mn and 52% in deals to 25,163.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar's CPI inflation falls 0.03% month-on-month in April: PSA

Qatar's inflation, based on consumer price index (CPI), was down 0.03% month-on-month in April 2023, mainly dragged by lower transport and footwear prices, according to the official estimates.However, the country's CPI inflation was higher by 3.68% on an annualised basis this April, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The International Monetary Fund forecasts that inflation in the country would average 2.1% in 2023-27.Qatar's core inflation (excluding housing and utilities) fell 0.04% and 2.74% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively during the review period.The index of transport, which has a 14.6% weight, plunged 2.29% on monthly basis but was up 0.6% year-on-year in April 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 clothing and footwear, which has a 5.6% weight in the CPI basket, declined 1.05% month-on-month but shot up 2.48% on a yearly basis in April 2023.The education sector, which has 5.8% in the CPI basket, saw its index decline 0.94% month-on-month, even as it zoomed 1.64% year-on-year this April.The restaurants and hotels group, with a 6.6% weight, saw its index shrink 0.74% and 0.08% on a monthly and yearly basis respectively in April 2023, the PSA said.The index of health, which has a 2.7% weight, was down 0.25% month-on-month but expanded 1.41% year-on-year in April 2023.Communication, which carries a 5.2% weight, saw its group index fall 0.21% and 4.94% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in the review period.Food and beverages group, which carry 13.5% weight in the CPI basket, became cheaper by 0.19% on a monthly basis but increased 1.71% year-on-year in April 2023.However, the index of furniture and household equipment, which has 7.9% weight in the CPI basket, surged 4.43% and 2.87% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively this April.The index of recreation and culture, which has an 11.1% weight in the CPI basket, was seen gaining 1.32% and 15.34% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in April 2023.The index of miscellaneous goods and services, with a 5.7% weight, was up 0.32% on monthly basis while it tanked 1.65% on an annualised basis in the review period.The index of housing, water, electricity and other fuels – with a weight of 21.2% in the CPI basket – increased 0.07% and 7.72% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in April 2023.The tobacco index, which has a 0.3% weight, was unchanged on yearly and monthly basis in the review period.

Gulf Times
Business
Lusail set to become de facto financial district of Qatar: CWQ

Lusail downtown could potentially become Qatar’s de facto financial district in the future, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).Highlighting that financial sector companies have started committing to Lusail relocations; CWQ said office activity in 2022 was driven by the government sector and the oil and gas sector.Most activity over the past 12 months has occurred in Lusail, it said, adding the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), QNB and the Qatar Central Bank would take up occupation of Lusail Towers on completion.In February, the QFC (Qatar Financial Centre) acquired more than 6,000sq m of office space in Lusail Boulevard, joining Qatar Chamber, which is due to relocate to the same street shortly."These upcoming office relocations could potentially see the Lusail downtown area become Qatar’s de facto financial district in the coming years," CWQ said, adding the expanding supply of office accommodation in Lusail has surpassed 800,000sq m.Highlighting that Msheireb Downtown Doha is also gaining recognition as a commercial destination; it said Msheireb Properties has secured several commercial office lettings in the first quarter of 2023 with international companies from the oil and gas and financial services sectors."There are also several other transactions in the pipeline, which are expected to complete during the second quarter of 2023," the CWQ report said.The supply of purpose-built office accommodation in Qatar has now reached approximately 5.3mn sq m. The Al Dafna/West Bay district has the largest concentration of supply with approximately 1.8mn sq m of gross leasable area.The buoyant oil and gas sector has spurred expansion and relocation activity in the past year, it said, adding as a result, three office deals over 3,000sq m have been confirmed in West Bay and The Pearl-Qatar.Following the Covid-19-related downturn in office activity in 2020 and 2021, office leasing transactions increased significantly in 2022; however, it has been relatively subdued in the first quarter of 2023.While increasingly attractive lease terms are available for shell-and-core space, demand is weak due to the requirements for tenants to undertake costly internal fit-outs, CWQ noted.Grade A stock is now typically available to lease for between QR100 and QR120 per sq m per month, exclusive of service charges. Office spaces leased as 'shell and core' can be secured for QR55–60 per sq m per month in some of Doha’s main office districts.

A Nakilat QMax LNG vessel. Its LNG shipping fleet is the largest in the world. The carriers have travelled 0.9mn nautical miles and the LPG carriers have travelled 0.09mn nautical miles, according to the latest issue of Nakilat's magazine ‘Voyage’.
Business
Nakilat LNG carriers deliver 198 cargoes with 100% reliability

Nakilat’s 69 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers have delivered 198 cargoes of an estimated volume of 20.3mn metric tonnes with 100% reliability at the end of February 2003.The company's four liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers have delivered seven cargoes of an estimated volume of 0.32mn metric tonnes with 100% reliability during the review period.The LNG carriers have travelled 0.9mn nautical miles and the LPG carriers have travelled 0.09mn nautical miles, according to the latest issue of Nakilat's magazine ‘Voyage’."2023 has started on an eventful and prosperous note for the company as we continue to sail the waters, deliver clean energy, and reach our vision to becoming a global leader of choice for energy transportation and maritime services," said Abdullah al-Sulaiti, Chief Executive Officer, Nakilat.Not only does Nakilat continue to become more profitable and deliver value to its shareholders, but also in a post pandemic world, it has been able to improve on safety, employee welfare and mental health, promoting work-life balance to its dedicated workforce, he said.Nakilat’s Global Series LNG vessels are designed to have a lower boil-off rate, implying that they are able to transport LNG more efficiently and with less loss of cargo due to evaporation.They are also designed to be more environmentally friendly, with features such as a waste heat recovery system and an advanced ballast water treatment system.In addition to their advanced technology and environmental features, the Global Series LNG vessels are also built with safety in mind.They have redundant systems and state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, and they are manned by experienced crews who are trained to handle emergencies.Overall, these LNG vessels in addition to the rest of the fleet are an important part of the global LNG shipping industry, helping to transport natural gas from Qatar to markets around the world.Nakilat is working on carbon footprint reduction and a long term detailed action plan outlining the specific steps and timelines for achieving the goals."This should include key performance indicators (KPIs) and regular progress reports to track and communicate the company’s progress towards its commitments," said the magazine.Releasing environmental commitments also presents an opportunity to engage stakeholders and create partnerships with other joint venture companies working towards similar goals, it said."We can collaborate with suppliers, customers, industry associations, and non-profit organisations to share knowledge and resources and drive collective action towards a more sustainable future," the magazine added.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE edges down marginally despite movers outnumber shakers

The Qatar Stock Exchange Tuesday declined more than 10 points despite buying interests in five of the seven 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[30387]**The domestic institutions were seen net profit takers as the 20-stock Qatar Index knocked off 0.1% to 10,468.51 points.The market, which was rather skewed towards gainers, had touched an intraday high 10,527 points.The Gulf institutions’ substantially weakened net buying had its influence in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened further to 1.99%.The local retail investors’ net buying eased in the main bourse, whose capitalisation nevertheless was up QR0.38bn or 0.06% to QR616.46bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.However, the Arab individuals turned net buyers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.1mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.03mn changed hands across four deals.The foreign funds remained under bearish spell but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than the All Share Index in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index was down 0.1%, All Share Index by 0.07% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.1% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decrease.The transport and telecom sectors index declined 2.2% and 0.14% respectively; whereas insurance gained 0.58%, real estate (0.49%), consumer goods and services (0.22%), industrials (0.22%) and banks and financial services (0.01%).Major losers in the main market included Widam Food, Nakilat, Medicare Group, Al Khaleej Takaful, Qatar Oman Investment, QIIB, Al Meera, Aamal Company, QLM, Beema, Milaha and Gulf Warehousing. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Qatari German Medical Devices, Mannai Corporation, Dlala, Qatar Electricity and Water, Salam International Investment, Doha Bank, Qatar Insurance and Ezdan were among the prime movers in the main market.The domestic funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR4.52mn compared with net buyers of QR32.86mn on May 15.The Gulf institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR9.34mn against QR53.45mn the previous day.The Qatari individuals’ net buying weakened significantly to QR7.61mn compared to QR29.58mn on Monday.The Gulf retail investors’ net buying eased marginally to QR0.1mn against QR1.37mn on May 15.However, the foreign individuals turned net buyers to the extent of QR2.67mn compared with net sellers QR0.9mn the previous day.The Arab individuals were net buyers to the tune of QR2.27mn against net sellers of QR5.08mn on Monday.The foreign funds’ net profit booking shrank drastically to QR17.47mn compared to QR105.29mn on April 15.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the fifth consecutive session.The main market saw a 37% contraction in trade volumes to 134.33mn shares, 41% in value to QR386.9mn and 30% in deals to 16,554.

Gulf Times
Business
Book building to be game changer for Qatar's capital market

The book building process, through which the market gauges the demand and price discovery of initial public offerings (IPO), is expected to be game changer for Qatar's fast developing capital market.This came in response to Qatar’s first book building exercise for Meeza’s IPO, whose book building period concluded on March 6.The book building system is fast becoming the most acceptable format among issuers and lead managers in the (Arab) region, sources said.Highlighting that the final pricing of Meeza's IPO was outside the latest price range; market sources said it is evident that book building process is going to be a game changer for the country's capital market, which is already eyeing developed market status.Seven qualified institutional buyers had subscribed to 37.41% of the IPO, with the book closing above the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) minimum requirement of five qualified investors subscribing to at least 30% of the offering.Final pricing outside the latest price range is a testament of the effectiveness of the book building mechanism to transparently price the IPO based on supply and demand, considering market conditions and feedback received from qualified investors during the book building subscription period."This (Meeza IPO) would go long way in encouraging other entities, especially fundamentally strong, wishing to go public," a market analyst with a leading investment house said.Unlike the present system, where the demand could be assessed only at the time of closing of the subscription of IPO; the book-building route is dynamic as it estimates the demand as the book is built, sources said.The book-building mechanism is used in many global and regional markets to determine the share offering price by relying on qualified investors who have sufficient experience and knowledge and the necessary mechanisms for fair pricing of the security, a QSE spokesman said.Book-building is one of the mechanisms that the QFMA intends to work with as part of mechanisms for evaluating companies wishing to make public offerings of their shares to investors.“The book-building is an efficient tool of price discovery. It is one of the missing blocks that the exchange needs to get into the developed market status,” an analyst with a leading global advisory firm said.“The new procedures like book building and direct listing will attract more companies to the Qatari market,” QSE acting chief executive officer Abdul Aziz Nasser al-Emadi had told the media at the time of the listing of Beema early this year.

Gulf Times
Business
Weak oil price weigh on QSE as index tanks 190 points; M-cap erodes QR11bn

Reflecting the concerns of regional bourses on lower oil prices, the Qatar Stock Exchange Monday plummeted 190 points and capitalisation eroded more than QR11bn with real.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[29759]**estate and banking counters bearing the maximum brunt.The foreign institutions turned bearish as the 20-stock Qatar Index knocked off 1.78% to 10,479.41 points.The market, which was skewed towards shakers, had however opened the trade on a high of 10,681 points, after which it was on a declining path for the rest of the session.The foreign retail investors were increasingly net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 1.89%.About 76% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation tanked 1.82% to QR616.08bn, mainly on account of large and midcap segments.However, the Gulf institutions were increasingly bullish in the main market, which saw a total of 0.04mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.31mn changed hands across 25 deals.The domestic funds were seen 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 shed 1.78%, All Share Index by 1.78% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.56% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decrease.The realty sector index plummeted 3.48%, banks and financial services (2.58%), consumer goods and services (1.72%), industrials (1.33%) and insurance (0.97%); while transport gained 1.32% and telecom (0.22%).Major losers in the main market included Qatar Islamic Insurance, Barwa, Doha Insurance, Salam International Investment, Mazaya Qatar, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank, QIIB, Mannai Corporation, Mekdam Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Ezdan and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding.Nevertheless, Inma Holding, Milaha, Estithmar Holding, Widam Food and Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The foreign funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR105.29mn compared with net buyers of QR10.31mn on April 14.The foreign retail investors were net sellers to extent of QR0.9mn against net buyers of QR1.32mn the previous day.However, the Gulf institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR53.45mn compared to QR35.48mn on Sunday.The domestic funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR32.86mn against net sellers of QR33.67mn on May 14.The Qatari individuals’ net buying expanded significantly to QR29.58mn compared to QR2.59mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR1.37mn against net sellers of QR1.26mn on Sunday.The Arab individuals’ net profit booking declined noticeably to QR5.08mn compared to QR14.77mn on May 14.The Arab institutions continued to have no major net exposure for the fourth consecutive session.The main market saw a 4% contraction in trade volumes to 213.32mn shares and 3% in value to QR653.17mn but on 16% growth in deals to 23,664.

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.