Author

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
×
Subscribe now for Gulf Times
Personalise your news and receive Newsletters!
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy .
Your email exists
 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
Bullish Gulf and foreign funds lift sentiments as index vaults 130 points

The Gulf institutions' increased buying interests led the Qatar Stock Exchange gain as much as 130 points in key index and QR9bn in capitalisation this week. .text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[15551]**The telecom, insurance, real estate and industrials sectors witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 1.27% this week which saw the Planning and Statistics Authority’s data suggest FIFA World Cop provided strong force multiplier to the local economy in the fourth quarter of 2022.The foreign funds were bullish this week, which saw the Qatar Financial Centre’s purchasing managers’ index suggest that demand gained momentum in the non-energy private sector, leading to a positive outlook for the economy in the next12 months.About 76% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market this week, which saw the positive outlook for the country’s logistics and allied sectors with Hamad Port registering the highest-ever volume of breakbulk in March.The Arab institutions’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main market this week which saw the Group Securities announce market making for as many as 12 listed entities.However, the domestic institutions turned net profit takers in the main market this week, which saw a total of 0.47mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR1.12mn trade across 30 deals.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the indices in the main market this week which saw as many as 0.15mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR1.6mn change hands across 85 transactions.Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase in the main market this week, which saw a global insurance rating agency A M Best assign a financial strength rating of A- (excellent) and a long-term issuer credit rating of “a-” (excellent) to Damaan Islamic Insurance Company (Beema) with a "stable" outlook.Market capitalisation was seen gaining QR8.98bn or 1.52% to QR601.47bn on the back of small and midcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than 61% of the total trade volume in the main market.The Total Return Index gained 1.27%, the All Share Index by 1.37%, and the All Islamic Index by 1.06% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The transport sector index shot up 5.47%, telecom (3.46%), insurance (3.4%), realty (2.96%), industrials (1.5%), consumer goods and services (0.72%) and banks and financial services (0.45%) this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Dlala, Widam, Al Khaleej Takaful, Gulf International Services, Qatar Insurance, Qatar Islamic Bank, Salam International Investment, Mannai Corporation, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Aamal Company, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, United Development Company, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Ooredoo, Milaha and Nakilat this week.Nevertheless, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, QLM, Mekdam Holding, Vodafone Qatar and Qatar National Cement were among the losers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week.The Gulf institutions' net buying increased drastically to QR47.43mn compared to QR6.68mn the week ended March 30.The foreign funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR29.76mn against net profit takers of QR86.29mn the previous week.The Arab individual investors’ net selling declined substantially to QR8.09mn compared to QR23.45mn a week ago.The Arab funds' net profit booking shrank considerably to QR8.31mn against QR20.84mn the week ended March 30.However, the domestic funds turned net sellers to the extent of QR74.84mn compared with net buyers of QR74.81mn the previous week.The Gulf individuals' net profit booking shot up markedly to QR14.73mn against QR1.25mn a week ago.The foreign individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR1.13mn compared with net buyers of QR8.61mn the week ended March 30.The local retail investors' net buying weakened perceptibly to QR29.92mn against QR41.74mn the previous week.Total trade volume in the main market decreased 24% to 744.68mn shares, value by 22% to QR1.96bn, and deals by 21% to 69,158.

Gulf Times
Business
Domestic funds drag QSE down as index falls 17 points

The domestic funds were seen increasingly into profit booking as the Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday lost 17 points.Higher than average selling pressure at the transport, banking and insurance sectors led the 20-stock Qatar Index to shed 0.16% to 10,342.43 points.The market, which was marginally skewed towards gainers, however touched an intraday high of 10,374 points.The Arab retail investors were net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 3.17%.The foreign individual investors turned bearish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation eroded QR0.43bn or 0.07% to QR601.47bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The local retail investors’ marginally weakened net buying had its say on the main market, which saw a total of 0.18mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.1mn changed hands across 53 deals.However, the foreign institutions were net buyers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining vis-a-vis declines in the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shed 0.16% and the All Share Index by 0.18%, while the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) was up 0.05% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the incline.The transport sector index lost 0.93%, banks and financial services (0.72%) and insurance (0.44%); while telecom gained 2.58%, consumer goods and services (1.55%), real estate (0.63%) and industrials (0.09%).Major losers in the main market included QLM, Beema, Mekdam Holding, Milaha, Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Al Khaleej Takaful. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Widam Food, Gulf Warehousing, Ooredoo, Woqod, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Doha Insurance, Barwa, Mazaya Qatar and Vodafone Qatar were among the gainers in the main market.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking increased substantially to QR48.32mn compared to QR27.04mn on April 5.The Arab individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR2.02mn against net buyers of QR2.58mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR1.62mn compared with net buyers of QR1.52mn on Wednesday.The Gulf institutions’ net buying decreased considerably to QR8.67mn against QR13.71mn on April 5.The local retail investors’ net buying eased marginally to QR11.45mn compared to QR11.49mn the previous day.However, the foreign institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR31.4mn against net sellers of QR0.06mn on Wednesday.The Gulf individual investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.44mn compared with net profit takers of QR0.12mn on April 5.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net profit takers to the extent of QR2.05mn the previous day.In the main market, trade volumes expanded 28% to 175.61mn shares, value by 24% to QR416.63mn and deals by 17% to 14,920.

Gulf Times
Business
Middle East, Asia to register fastest annual growth in exports in 2024: WTO

The Middle East and Asia are slated to see the fastest annual growth in merchandise exports in 2024, in line with the positive trend in the macroeconomic growth prospects in the regions, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).In its Global Trade Outlook and Statistics, WTO said the Middle East region is expected to see 4.7% growth in 2024 compared to mere 0.9% in 2023. This year's growth is substantially lower than 9.9% estimated in 2022.The Middle East is expected to witness a 3.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2024 compared to 2.9% in 2023, higher than the world average of 2.6% and 2.4% respectively in the said periods.The Asia region's merchandise exports are slated to grow 4.7% in 2024 against 2.5% in 2023. The North America would see a growth of 3.1% in 2024 compared to 3.3% the previous year, CIS (The Commonwealth of Independent States) 2.2% (2.8%), Europe 2% (1.8%), Africa 1.4% (-1.4%) and South America 0.6% (0.3%).In terms of exports of digitally delivered services, WTO said Central and South America and the Caribbean as well as the Middle East saw an acceleration in growth in 2022, eve as Europe accounts for more than half of global exports of such services.According to the WTO estimates, global exports of digitally delivered services recorded an almost fourfold increase in value since 2005, rising 8.1% on average per year in 2005-2022, outpacing goods (5.6%) and other services exports (4.2%).Africa is slated to see fastest growth in imports at 5.5% in 2024 compared to 5.6% the previous year, Asia 5.2% (2.6%), South America 2.3% (-1.6%), Europe 1.8% (-0.6%), North America 1.4% (-0.1%) and CIS 0.8% (14.9%).The report highlighted that high prices for wheat and other grains were keenly felt in the Middle Eastern and African countries that relied heavily on imports from Ukraine and Russia before the war.

Qatar's hospitality sector saw a 6.01% year-on-year increase in average revenue per available room to QR247 in February 2023 as the average room rate jumped 3.1% to QR433 and occupancy by 1% to 57% in the review period, according to the PSA.
Business
Five-star hotels helps Qatar hospitality sector improve rooms’ yield in February: PSA

A double-digit jump in rooms' yield of five star hotels led Qatar's hospitality sector report a robust expansion in average revenue available per room in February 2023, according to the data from the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The overall performance comes amidst strong visitor arrivals, especially from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and other Arab countries, said the PSA data.The country's hospitality sector saw a 6.01% year-on-year increase in average revenue per available room to QR247 in February 2023 as the average room rate jumped 3.1% to QR433 and occupancy by 1% to 57% in the review period.This positive trend in the hospitality sector’s room yield comes amidst a 406.3% surge in visitor arrivals to 389,222 in February 2023 with the majority coming from the GCC and Europe. On a monthly basis, the total visitor arrivals were up 14.3% in the review period.The visitor arrivals from the GCC were 146,235 or 38% of the total; followed by Europe 120,903 or 31%; other Asia (including Oceania) 71,448 or 18%; Americas 22,966 or 6%; other Arab countries 23,112 or 6% and other African countries 4,558 or 1%.The visitor arrivals from the GCC countries increased 685.8% and 3% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in February.In the case of visitors from Europe, it soared 503.5% on an annualised basis this February but shrank 20.4% month-on-month.In February 2023, the visitors from Americas were seen increasing 412.5% year-on-year but fell 6.4% on a monthly basis.The visitor arrivals from other Arab countries reported a 315% and 144.7% increase year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in February 2023.The visitors from other Asian countries (including Oceania) rose 168.7% on an annualised basis but plunged 23.3% on a monthly basis this February.In the case of other African countries, the visitor arrivals witnessed 185.4% jump year-on-year but fell 24.2% month-on-month.The five-star hotels saw the average revenue per available room increase 20.36% on annualised basis to QR337 in February 2023 as the average room rate grew 4.04% to Q592 and the occupancy by 8% to 57%.The average revenue per available room in the four-star hotels shrank 17.96% on a yearly basis to QR137 in February 2023 as the average room rate was down 0.39% to QR254 and the occupancy by 12% to 54%.The three-star hotels saw a 29.44% year-on-year contraction in average revenue per available room to QR139 as average room rate shrank 6.8% to QR192 and the occupancy by 24% to 72% in the review period.The two-star and one-star hotels' average revenue per available room declined 23.53% year-on-year to QR143 in February 2023 as the average room rate dipped 14.06% to QR165 and the occupancy by 10% to 87%.The deluxe hotel apartments saw a 4.1% year-on-year jump in average revenue available per room to QR203 in February 2023 as the average room rate in the category was seen gaining 2.7% on an annualised basis to QR380. However, the occupancy was flat at 53% in the review period.In the case of standard hotel apartments, the room yield plummeted 31.44% year-on-year to QR133 in January 2023 even as the average room rate rose 2.98% to QR242 amidst a 28% plunge in occupancy to 55%.

Gulf Times
Business
Domestic funds’ increased profit booking drags QSE

The Qatar Stock Exchange Wednesday lost about 37 points, mainly dragged by the telecom and industrials sectors.The domestic funds’ increased net profit booking led the 20-stock Qatar Index 0.36% to 10,359.22 points.The market, which was skewed towards decliners, had however touched an intraday high of 10,416 points.The Arab funds were increasingly net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 3.09%.A half of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation eroded QR1.1bn or 0.18% to QR601.9bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The foreign funds were net sellers, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, which saw a total of 0.3mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.02mn changed hands across 33 deals.However, the local retail investors were increasingly into net buying in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the main barometer in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shed 0.36%, the All Share Index by 0.14% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.17% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The telecom sector index tanked 1.26%, industrials (0.52%), banks and financial services (0.31%) and consumer goods and services (0.06%); while insurance gained 1.55%, transport (1.54%) and real estate (1.03%).Major losers in the main market included Commercial Bank, Qatar National Cement, Woqod, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Vodafone Qatar, Ooredoo and Qatar Electricity and Water.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Al Khaleej Takaful, Dlala, QLM, Zad Holding, Salam International Investment, Baladna, Estithmar Holding, United Development Company, Milaha and Nakilat were among the gainers in the main market.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking increased noticeably to QR27.04mn compared to QR2.54mn on April 4.The Arab institutions’ net selling expanded perceptibly to QR2.05mn against QR1.01mn the previous day.The foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.06mn compared with net buyers of QR17.11mn on Tuesday.The Gulf institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR13.71mn against QR23.11mn on April 4.However, the local retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR11.49mn compared with net sellers of QR13.67mn the previous day.The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR2.58mn against net sellers of QR10.53mn on Tuesday.The foreign retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR1.52mn compared with net sellers of QR2.77mn on April 4.The Gulf individual investors’ net profit booking shrank markedly to QR0.12mn against QR7.69mn the previous day.In the main market, trade volumes fell 16% to 137.03mn shares, value by 26% to QR336.63mn and deals by 15% to 12,754.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE inches towards 10,400 level on Gulf funds’ increasing buying interests

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Tuesday gained more than 97 points and its key index inched towards 10,400 levels, mainly lifted by the insurance and transport sectors.The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net buying as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.94% to 10,396.21 points.The market, which was skewed towards gainers, had touched an intraday high of 10,422 points.The domestic funds’ weakened net selling had its influence on the main market, whose year-to-date losses narrowed to 2.67%.About 76% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR5.78bn or 0.97% to QR603bn, mainly on account of midcap segments.The Arab institutions’ weakened net profit booking also had its say in the main market, which saw a total of 0.12mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.37mn changed hands across 11 deals.However, the local retail investors were increasingly into net selling in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than then other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.94%, the All Share Index by 0.95% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.93% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The insurance sector index shot up 2.43%, transport (2.12%), banks and financial services (0.86%), real estate (0.86%), industrials (0.83%), telecom (0.67%) and consumer goods and services (0.45%).Major gainers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Gulf International Services, Milaha, Ezdan, Dlala, Qatar Islamic Bank, Mannai Corporation, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qatar Insurance, Beema, Vodafone Qatar and Gulf Warehousing.Nevertheless, Qatari German Medical Devices, Baladna, Al Khaleej Takaful, Doha Insurance and Qatar Electricity and Water were among the shakers in the main market.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR23.11mn compared to QR3.51mn on April 2.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking declined noticeably to QR2.54mn against QR13.02mn the previous day.The Arab institutions’ net selling weakened marginally to QR1.01mn compared to QR2.3mn on Monday.However, the local retail investors’ net selling grew substantially to QR13.67mn against QR3.15mn on April 2.The Arab individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR10.53mn compared with net buyers of QR0.29mn the previous day.The Gulf individual investors’ net profit booking rose perceptibly to QR7.69mn against QR5.48mn on Monday.The foreign retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR2.77mn compared with net buyers of QR1.82mn on April 2.The foreign institutions’ net buying eased marginally to QR17.11mn against QR18.33mn the previous day.In the main market, trade volumes jumped 19% to 163.44mn shares and value by 16% to QR456.57mn, whereas deals were down 1% to 15,069.

Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, QFC Authority chief executive officer
Business
Qatar non-energy sectors record demand momentum in March: QFC PMI

Demand gained momentum in Qatar's non-energy private sector, which led to faster growth of overall activity, a boost to employment and a fortification of firms' expectations for the next 12 months, according to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey data from the QFC for March showed the index at an eight-month high, indicating a further strengthening in business conditions as it saw fastest rise in new business since July 2022.The headline PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of non-energy private sector performance. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.The PMI rose for the fourth time in five months to 53.8 in March, from 51.9 in February. The latest figure was still above the long-run trend of 52.2."Qatar's non-energy private sector accelerated at the end of the first quarter, with sharper increases in output and new business. Both sub-indices were tracking above their long-run trend levels over six years of data collection. The headline PMI was at an eight-month high, also boosted by the employment component," said QFC Authority chief executive officer Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida.The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of around 450 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors, and reflects the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data.The boost to the headline PMI was faster growth in output and new business, which both increased at rates stronger than their long-run averages following renewed uplifts in January. Firms reported new customers, tourism, investments and successful marketing. The wholesale and retail and services sectors registered the strongest growth rates for activity and new orders.Highlighting that the 12-month outlook for the non-energy private sector remained "strongly positive", it said sector wise, confidence was strongest among service providers, followed by manufacturers during the review period."Looking forward, the future output index eased from February's 41-month high of 82.7 but has averaged 77 over the first quarter as a whole, the strongest quarterly outlook since the third quarter of 2019," al-Jaida said.The March data indicated a further increase in average wages and salaries, although the staff costs index eased from February's 17-month high. The employment index, tracking the overall level of staffing, rose to an eight-month high, signalling a boost to workforce numbers.Overall cost pressures eased further since the start of the year and were modest, reflecting only a fractional rise in purchase prices. Meanwhile, firms cut charges for goods and services for the second time in three months, albeit marginally.Companies reduced their levels of outstanding business for the eighth month running in March, despite the faster rise in new work. This reflected the rise in staffing but also suggested firms had made productivity improvements.The financial services sector in Qatar continued to expand at a marked rate in March as the volume of new business increased sharply and for the thirty-fourth consecutive month.Overall financial services activity increased for the twenty-first successive month, and at a rapid pace, while expectations eased further from January's recent peak but remained elevated.“The financial services sector continued to be a key spur to overall growth in March, with the rates of expansion in activity and new business remaining stronger than the all-sector trends, and the financial services business activity index reaching 60.5,” according to al-Jaida.New business grew for the thirty-fourth consecutive month in March, and the rate of expansion remained strong despite easing to a two-month low. Employment was fractionally lower than in February.The March data indicated another strong increase in charges levied by financial services firms, albeit one down on February's record rate of inflation. Input costs were again little changed over the month.

Qatar reported an 8% real (inflation adjusted) GDP growth on an annualised basis during Q4-2022, as the non-hydrocarbons expanded faster than the hydrocarbons sector, according to PSA. PICTURE: AFP/FIFA
Business
FIFA World Cup gives strong impulse to Qatar's economy in Q4 2022

The FIFA World Cup has given a strong force multiplier to Qatar's real economy during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022, triggered by a robust double-digit growth in the hospitality, transportation and trade sectors, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).Qatar reported an 8% real (inflation adjusted) gross domestic product or GDP growth on an annualised basis during Q4-2022, as the non-hydrocarbons expanded faster than the hydrocarbons sector.The fourth quarter featured Qatar's successful football extravaganza that not only saw record more than 1mn visitors, but also gave a fillip to the tourism and allied sectors.The mining and quarrying sector, under which hydrocarbons fall, grew 4.8% year-on-year and the non-mining and quarrying sector rose faster at 9.9% to place the overall real GDP at QR179.99bn. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors soared 5.6% on an annualised basis in Q4-2022.On a quarterly basis, the country’s real GDP gained 2.7% during Q4-2022 with the non-mining and quarrying sector growing 4.4%, even as mining and quarrying sector was down 0.3%.Within non-hydrocarbons, the accommodation and food service segment is estimated to have expanded 64.8% year-on-year in Q4-2022, followed by transport and storage by 25.4%, wholesale and retail trade by 16.1%, information and communication by (11.9%), finance and insurance by 8.5%, manufacturing by 7.1%, utilities by 6.1%, construction by 4.3% and real estate by 4%.On a quarterly basis, the accommodation and food service sector surged 60.6%, wholesale and retail trade (12.4%), finance and insurance (11.6%), transport and storage (6.8%), information and communication (2.2%), construction (1.5%) and real estate (0.9%) in the review period.Nevertheless, the utilities sector witnessed a 21.3% contraction and manufacturing by 0.5% in February 2023.On a nominal basis (at current prices), Qatar's GDP is estimated to have soared 26.2% year-on-year but fell 4% quarter-on-quarter at the end of Q4-2022.The mining and quarrying sector saw a healthy 43.4% surge on an annualised basis while it tanked 14.5% on a monthly basis this February.The non-hydrocarbons sector is estimated to have growth 16.4% and 5.1% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively in the review period.Within non-hydrocarbons (in nominal terms), there was a 56.8% surge in accommodation and food service, 31.2% in finance and insurance, 24.8% in manufacturing, 24.7% in transport and storage, 17.9% in real estate, 16.9% in wholesale and retail trade, 12.7% in utilities, 11.1% in information and communication and 8.8% in construction in the review period.On a quarterly basis in nominal terms, the accommodation and food services segment saw a 59% surge, finance and insurance (40%), wholesale and retail trade (13.1%), real estate (4.9%), information and communication (3.7%) and construction (1.4%) in February 2023.However, the utilities segment tanked 16.3%, manufacturing by 6.5% and transport and storage by 0.8% in nominal terms on a quarterly basis this February.The import duties, on real terms, are estimated to have risen 20.1% and 2.5% year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively at the end of fourth quarter 2022. On nominal terms, they reported a 22.6% and 3.2% jump respectively in the review period.

The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 231 in March, which was 6.94% and 11.59% higher year-on-year and month-on-month respectively, according to by Mwani Qatar.
Business
Hamad Port sees highest ever breakbulk volume handled in March 2023

Hamad Port registered the highest ever volume of breakbulk handled in March 2023; while cargo and livestock throughput at Qatar's three major ports zoomed 98% and 451% year-on-year, according to the official figures.The three ports - Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais - displayed robust performance in terms of ship arrivals and throughput both on yearly and monthly basis respectively in the review period as well as in the first three months of this year, according to figures released by Mwani Qatar.The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 231 this March, which was 6.94% and 11.59% higher year-on-year and month-on-month, respectively.Hamad Port, which offers opportunities to create cargo movement towards the upper Gulf, supporting countries such as Kuwait and Iraq and south towards Oman – saw as many as 135 vessels call on the port in the review period.As many as 664 ships had called on three ports in the first three months of this year, recording a 1.07% on an annualised basis.The general cargo handled through the three ports was 297,009 tonnes in March 2023, which showed 98.64% and 43.44% gains on yearly and monthly basis respectively in the review period.Hamad Port – whose multi-use terminal is designed to serve the supply chains for the RORO (vehicles), grains and livestock – handled 291,427 freight tonnes of breakbulk in March this year."The volume of breakbulk is the highest ever handled in Hamad Port," QTerminals said in a tweet.On a cumulative basis, the general cargo movement through the three ports shot up 29.5% year-on-year to total 617,641 tonnes during January-March 2023.The three ports handled 53,193 livestock heads in March 2023, which zoomed 451% on a yearly basis but was down 6.14% month-on-month. The three ports together handled 151,907 livestock in the first three months of this year, registering a 161.6% increase on an annualised basis.The three ports handled 7,007 RORO in March 2023, which registered a 15.61% and 23.69% jump year-on-year and month-on-month respectively. Hamad Port alone handled 6,964 units in March 2023.The three ports together handled as many as 18,380 vehicles during January-March2023, reporting a 9.5% expansion year-on-year.The container handling through three ports stood at 114,079 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), which fell 8.23% and 1.87% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in March 2023.Hamad Port, which is the largest eco-friendly project in the region and internationally recognised as one of the largest green ports in the world, saw 114,262 TEUs of containers handled in the review period.The container handling through the three ports stood at 341,955 TEUs during January-March 2023, which showed a 4.06% contraction on an annualised basis.The container terminals have been designed to address the increasing trade volume, enhancing ease of doing business as well as supporting the achievement of economic diversification, which is one of the most important goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.The building materials traffic through the three ports stood at 50,969 tonnes in March 2023, which tanked 21.63% year-on-year but shot up 77.22% month-on-month in the review period.A total of 134,637 tonnes of building materials had been handled by these ports in January-February 2023, thus registering 16.68% shrinkage on a yearly basis.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE tanks 120 points as foreign funds turn bearish

The Qatar Stock Exchange Sunday plunged 120 points and its key index settled below 10,100 levels, mainly dragged by the consumer goods, banks and transport sectors.The foreign institutions were seen increasingly into net selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index tanked 1.17% to 10,092.64 points, although Gulf markets largely remained in the black as the US inflation data fueled hopes of an end to rate hike.The market, which was skewed towards shakers, had touched an intraday high of 10,292 points.The Gulf individuals were increasingly bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses increased to 5.51%.More than 53% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation eroded QR6.93bn or 1.17% to QR585.56bn, mainly on account of small and microcap segments.The Gulf institutions turned net profit takers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.01mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.08mn changed hands across six deals.The foreign retail investors were net sellers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than then other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shed 1.17%, All Share Index by 1.28% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.02% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The consumer goods and services sector index plummeted 2.3%, banks and financial services (1.77%), transport (1.35%), industrials (0.68%) and real estate (0.6%); while telecom and insurance gained 1.24% and 1.07% respectively.Major losers in the main market included Zad Holding, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, Masraf Al Rayan, Vodafone Qatar, Gulf Warehousing, QNB, Qatar Electricity and Water, Industries Qatar, Estithmar Holding, Barwa and Nakilat.Nevertheless, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Qatar Insurance, Ooredoo, United Development Company, Qatari German Medical Devices and Lesha Bank were among the gainers in the main market.The foreign institutions’ net selling increased considerably to QR37.03mn compared to QR20.5mn on March 30.The Gulf individual investors’ net selling rose perceptibly to QR1.88mn against QR1.31mn the previous trading day.The Gulf institutions turned net profit takers to the tune of QR1.57mn compared with net buyers of QR3.4mn last Thursday.The foreign retail investors were net sellers to extent of QR0.08mn against net buyers of QR5.12mn on March 30.The domestic institutions’ net buying declined noticeably to QR16.1mn compared to QR24.26mn the previous trading day.However, the local retail investors’ net buying strengthened substantially to QR25.8mn against QR9.37mn last Thursday.The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.59mn compared with net sellers of QR4.62mn on March 30.The Arab institutions’ net profit booking shrank drastically to QR2.95mn against QR15.74mn the previous trading day.In the main market, trade volumes fell 27% to 131.36mn shares, value by 33% to QR360.92mn and deals by 45% to 11,141.

The mining PPI decreased 3.6% month-on-month this February as the average selling price of crude petroleum and natural gas declined 3.6%, even as that of stone, sand, and clay was up 0.02%.
Business
Qatar PPI shrinks in February: PSA

Qatar's producers' price index (PPI), which captures the price pressure felt by the producers of goods and services, shrank 7.32% year-on-year in February 2023, according to official estimates.The decline in the country's PPI on an annualised basis has been on account of the hydrocarbons and certain manufacturing businesses such as chemicals and basic metals, according to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).Qatar's PPI was seen dropping 3.42% on a monthly basis this February.The PSA had released a new PPI series in late 2015. With a base of 2013, it draws on an updated sampling frame and new weights. The previous sampling frame dates from 2006, when the Qatari economy was much smaller than today and the range of products made domestically much narrower.The mining PPI, which carries the maximum weight of 82.46%, reported a 5.47% shrinkage year-on-year in February 2023 as the average selling price of crude petroleum and natural gas was seen plummeting 5.47% and other mining and quarrying by 2.42%.The mining PPI decreased 3.6% month-on-month this February as the average selling price of crude petroleum and natural gas declined 3.6%, even as that of stone, sand, and clay was up 0.02%.The manufacturing sector PPI, which has a weight of 15.85% in the basket, tanked 17.15% on a yearly basis in February 2023 due to a 25.19% plunge in the average price of chemicals and chemical-related products, 11.93% in basic metals and 1.07% in refined petroleum products.Nevertheless, there was a 13.2% increase in the printing and reproduction of recorded media, 6.1% in food products, 2.2% in rubber and plastics products, 1.31% in beverages, and 0.74% in cement and other non-metallic mineral products.The manufacturing PPI plunged 3.23% month-on-month year in February on account of a 5.35% slump in the average price of basic metals, 5.28% in refined petroleum products, 3% in chemicals and chemical-related products, and 2.25% in rubber and plastics products.However, there was a marginal 0.45% increase in the average price of cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 0.34% in beverages, and 0.14% in food products.The index of electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply reported a 5.15% and 3.71% increase on a yearly and monthly basis respectively this February.The index of water supply was seen expanding 6.84% and 7.27% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in February 2023.

Gulf Times
Business
Easing global banking crisis enhances confidence as QSE soars 206 points; M-cap swells QR12bn

The easing global banking crisis led the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) to register a huge 206 points gain in key index and capitalisation to expand QR12bn this week.The consumer goods, real estate, transport, and banking counters register higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 2.06% this week which saw Fitch, a global credit rating agency, upgrades the outlook on Qatar's long-term issuer default rating.The domestic funds were bullish this week, which saw Fitch state that Qatar's debt-to-gross domestic product ratio will decline substantially this year and in 2024.About 74% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market this week, which saw Qatar's trade surplus jump 2.9% on yearly basis in February 2023.The foreign retail investors also turned net buyers this week which saw KPMG, a global entity, view that Qatar banks had the lowest cost-to-income and highest provision coverage among the Gulf peers.The local retail investors continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market this week, which saw Nakilat's shareholders approve the board recommendation to up the foreign ownership limit up to 100%.The Islamic index was seen outperforming the other indices in the main market this week which saw a total of 0.4mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.94mn trade across 24 deals.Trade turnover and volumes were on the increase in the main market this week, which saw as many as 0.03mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.31mn change hands across 22 transactions.Market capitalisation was seen gaining QR12.09bn or 2.08% to QR592.49bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than 62% of the total trade volume in the main market.The Total Return Index gained 2.06%, the All Share Index by 1.97%, and the All Islamic Index by 2.41% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The consumer goods and services sector index zoomed 4.15%, realty (3.17%), transport (2.97%), banks and financial services (2.17%), telecom (1.52%) and industrials (0.6%); while insurance was flat this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Masraf Al Rayan, Dukhan Bank, Qatari German Medical Devices, Dlala, Doha Bank, Lesha Bank, Salam International Investment, Woqod, Mannai Corporation, Baladna, Gulf International Services, Estithmar Holding, Qamco, QLM, Barwa, Mazaya Qatar, United Development Company, Nakilat and Vodafone Qatar this week which saw Wasata Financial Services sign pact to undertake market making for Masraf Al Rayan.Nevertheless, Mekdam Holding, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Milaha, Qatar Cinema and Film Distribution, and Medicare Group were among the losers in the main market this week.The domestic institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR74.81mn against net sellers of QR27.98mn the week ended March 23.The foreign individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR8.61mn against net sellers of QR13.96mn a week ago.The Gulf individuals' net selling eased marginally to QR1.25mn compared to QR1.63mn the previous week.However, the foreign funds' net profit booking grew markedly to QR86.29mn against QR74.17mna the week ended March 23.The Arab individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR23.45mn compared with net buyers of QR2.64mn a week ago.The Arab funds' net selling expanded substantially to QR20.84mn against QR0.28mn the previous week.The Gulf institutions' net buying shrank drastically to QR6.68mn compared to QR70.62mn the week ended March 23.The local retail investors' net buying fell perceptibly to QR41.74mn against QR44.76mn a week ago.Total trade volume in the main market increased 35% to 986.23mn shares, value by 23% to QR2.53bn, and deals by 10% to 87,671.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE treads flat course despite Arab funds’ strong selling pressure

The Qatar Stock Exchange Thursday treaded a flat path despite strong selling pressure at the telecom, transport and insurance counters.The Arab institutions were seen increasingly into net profit booking as the 20-stock Qatar Index stood at 10,212.61 points.The market, which was heavily skewed towards shakers, had touched an intraday high of 10,277 points.The Gulf individuals were seen bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses increased marginally to 4.39%.About 62% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation was seen eroding QR1.58bn or 0.27% to QR592.49bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The domestic institutions’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main market, which saw a total of 0.01mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Doha Bank) valued at QR0.06mn changed hands across three deals.The Gulf funds’ lower net selling interests had its say in weakening the overall sentiments in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than then other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index was down 0.01%, the All Share Index by 0.09% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.18% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The telecom sector index tanked 2.33%, transport (1.34%), insurance (1.06%) and industrials (0.26%); while consumer goods and services gained 1.32%, realty (0.45%) and banks and financial services (0.14%).Major losers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Medicare Group, Ooredoo, Milaha, Inma Holding and Aamal Company.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Qatari German Medical Devices, Dlala, Estithmar Holding, Masraf Al Rayan, Woqod, United Development Company and Gulf Warehousing were among the gainers in the main market.The Arab institutions’ net profit booking increased substantially to QR15.74mn compared to QR3.08mn on March 29.The Gulf individual investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR1.31mn against net buyers of QR0.21mn the previous day.The domestic institutions’ net buying declined noticeably to QR24.26mn compared to QR30.87mn on Wednesday.The Gulf institutions’ net buying weakened perceptibly to QR3.4mn against QR9.3mn on March 29.The foreign retail investors’ net buying eased markedly to QR5.12mn compared to QR6.06mn the previous day.However, the local retail investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR9.37mn against net profit takers of QR0.22mn on Wednesday.The foreign institutions’ net selling decreased considerably ton QR20.5mn compared to QR32.08mn on March 29.The Arab individuals’ net profit booking weakened notably to QR4.62mn against QR11.09mn the previous day.In the main market, trade volumes fell 21% to 180.08mn shares, value by 17% to QR534.79mn and deals by 4% to 20,280.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE index rejig to see Vodafone replace QIC in main barometer from April 2

With Qatar Stock Exchange’s (QSE) semi-annual index review becoming effective from next week, Vodafone Qatar will replace Qatar Insurance in the main barometer QE Index.The review will also see Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company removed from the 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 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.The other constituents of the main barometer will remain QNB, Industries Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Woqod, QIIB, Nakilat, Ooredoo, Qatar Electricity and Water, Milaha, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, 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 Industries Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Woqod, QIIB, Ooredoo, Milaha, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Barwa, Qamco, Vodafone Qatar, United Development Company, Baladna, Estithmar Holding, Ezdan, Qatari Investors Group, Al Meera Consumer Goods, Medicare Group, Qatar National Cement and Gulf Warehousing.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
Foreign funds’ net selling drags QSE as index falls 95 points

The foreign funds’ net profit booking pressure on Wednesday dragged the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) about 95 points but overall its key index stood above 10,200 levels.The industrials and banking counters witnessed higher than average selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index shrank 0.92% to 10,213.34 points.The market, which was heavily skewed towards shakers, had touched an intraday high of 10,387 points.The Arab individuals were seen bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses increased to 4.38%.More than 65% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation was seen eroding QR5.85bn or 0.98% to QR594.07bn, mainly on account of mid and microcap segments.The Arab institutions turned net profit takers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.1mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.33mn changed hands across 14 deals.However, the domestic funds were increasingly into net buying in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than then other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shed 0.92%, the All Share Index by 0.88% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.71% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the rise.The industrials sector index shrank 1.29%, banks and financial services (1.17%), consumer goods and services (0.55%), insurance (0.44%) and real estate (0.14%); while telecom and transport gained 0.95% and 0.69% respectively.Major losers included Mannai Corporation, Mekdam Holding, Qatar Islamic Bank, Lesha Bank, Dukhan Bank, Salam International Investment, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Industries Qatar, Qamco and Ezdan.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, QLM, Masraf Al Rayan, Estithmar Holding, Vodafone Qatar, Inma Holding, Qatar National Cement and Nakilat were among the gainers in the main market.The foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR32.08mn against net buyers of QR10.65mn on March 28.The Arab individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR11.09mn compared with net buyers of QR2.19mn the previous day.The Arab institutions turned net profit takers to the tune of QR3.08mn against no major net exposure on Tuesday.However, the domestic funds were net buyers to the extent of QR30.87mn compared with net sellers of QR7.58nmn on March 28.The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR9.3mn against net sellers of QR1.31mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR6.06mn compared with net sellers of QR4.55mn on Tuesday.The Gulf individual investors’ net buying increased marginally to QR0.21mn against QR0.17mn on March 28.The local retail investors’ net profit booking declined considerably to QR0.22mn compared to QR14.74mn the previous day.In the main market, trade volumes grew 12% to 228.35mn shares, value by 21% to QR642.08mn and deals by 14% to 21,225.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Qatar's debt to decline in 2024 and 2025: Fitch

Qatar's debt/GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is expected to significantly decline and the subsequent debt path will depend on how the government chooses to deploy its fiscal surpluses, according to Fitch, a global credit rating agency."We project debt/GDP to fall to about 45% of GDP in 2023 and 42% in 2024, from a peak at 85% in 2020. This reflects our expectation that the government will continue to repay maturing external debt in 2023 ($7.5bn) and 2024 ($4.8bn) and to gradually pay down some of its domestic debt" it said in a report.Large surpluses would still allow Qatar to transfer new funds to the Qatar Investment Authority, it said.Fitch said the subsequent debt path would depend on how the government chooses to deploy its fiscal surpluses."The persistence of a high global bond yield environment could encourage Qatar to continue to allocate a share of its surpluses to deleveraging beyond 2024, although our baseline assumes that external debt is rolled over," it said. The country's debt metrics include government overdrafts with local banks (QR61bn at end-2022), which the sovereign does not include in its headline figure.The rating agency estimates that Qatar's economy-wide net external debt position declined to13% of GDP at end-2022, reflecting the rise in nominal GDP and the reduction in banks' foreign liabilities, from about 30% at end-2021.Fitch estimates the debt of non-bank government-related entities (GRE) at over 40% of GDP. The biggest GRE borrowers are Qatar Airways, QatarEnergy and Ooredoo, together accounting for over a third of Qatar's GRE debt.Qatar Airways posted a profit in the financial year ending March 2022 (FY22) after receiving a $3bn equity injection from its shareholder (the Qatar Investment Authority) in FY21.

A view of the Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar's principal site for the production of liquefied natural gas and gas-to-liquids (file). The additional LNG export capacity that will be brought online as a result of the North Field expansion will bring down Qatar's already low fiscal breakeven hydrocarbon price, according to Fitch.
Business
Fitch upgrades outlook on Qatar's long-term issuer default rating to 'positive'

Global credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded the outlook on Qatar's long term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) to "positive" from "stable" and affirmed the IDR at 'AA-'.The revision of the outlook reflects Fitch's expectation that the debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) will remain in line with or below the 'AA' peer median, while Qatar's external balance sheet will strengthen from an already strong level.The additional LNG (liquefied natural gas) export capacity that will be brought online as a result of the North Field expansion will bring down Qatar's already low fiscal breakeven hydrocarbon price, it said.Qatar's 'AA-' ratings are supported by large sovereign net foreign assets, one of the world's highest ratios of GDP per capita and a flexible public finance structure.Qatar's general government budget surplus is estimated at about 10% of GDP in 2023 (2022: 13% of GDP), including estimated investment income on Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) external assets, and about 8% without.Oil and gas revenue is assumed to fall by 14% as the Brent oil price will average $85/bbl in 2023 (2022: 98.6).However, the end of 2022 Football World Cup outlays, less spending on large projects and restrained current spending trends will allow Qatar to maintain budget surpluses until 2025, despite lower hydrocarbon prices."We project the first phase of the North Field expansion to start supporting fiscal revenue fully from 2026 and second phase in 2027, assuming no construction delays, and to bring down Qatar's fiscal breakeven oil price below $50 from around $57-58 in 2023-24, excluding estimated QIA investment income," it said.The government is likely to find new spending outlays aimed at diversifying the economy, but "we expect Qatar to retain surpluses under our long-term oil price forecast of $53 at 2025 prices."QatarEnergy plans to expand LNG production capacity from 77mn tonnes per year (mtpa) to 110mtpa by end-2025 and to 126mtpa by end-2027."We assume that QatarEnergy will cover $12.5bn of core project costs out of its 2021 bond issuance and a similar amount from its cash flow, spread until 2028, on top of contributions by partners," it said.The energy behemoth will also cover a significant share of the costs of the ancillary projects associated with the expansion. It owns 70% of the Golden Pass LNG project (16mtpa) in Texas which will start production in 2024, bringing new revenue to the budget through QatarEnergy dividends.

Imports in February
Business
Qatar records QR22.92bn trade surplus in February: PSA

Faster expansion in the exports of petroleum gases led Qatar's trade surplus to jump 2.9% year-on-year to QR22.92bn in February 2023, according to the official data.Qatar's exports were almost four times its imports, according to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA).The country's total exports (valued free on board) amounted to QR31.03bn, while the total imports (cost, insurance, and freight) were QR8.1bn in the review period.However, the trade surplus shrank 5.7% month-on-month in February 2023.Asia/South East Asia constituted a majority of Qatar's exports in January 2023; while imports came from variegated sources.The country's total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) showed 2.2% and 8.7% contraction year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period.In February this year, Qatar's shipments to China amounted to QR6.05bn or 19.5% of the total exports of the country, followed by South Korea QR5.04bn (16.3%), India QR3.97bn (12.8%), Japan QR3.37bn (10.9%) and Singapore QR2.26bn (7.3%).On a yearly basis, Qatar's exports to Japan plummeted 36.39% and China by 14.4%; whereas those to Singapore shot up 70.95%, South Korea by 35.59% and India by 21.92% in February 2023.On a monthly basis, Qatar's exports to Singapore declined 4.32%, China by 3.53%, India by 0.75% and Japan by 0.36%; while those to South Korea zoomed 39.65% in the review period.The exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons grew 3.7% on an annualised basis to QR19.63bn; while those of non-crude by 18.5% to QR2.45bn, crude by 11.9% to QR4.8bn and other commodities by 9.3% to QR3.26bn in February 2023.On a monthly basis, the exports of other non-specified commodities expanded 10%; while those of non-crude tanked 22.8%, petroleum gases by 11% and crude by 3.2% this February.Petroleum gases constituted 65.13% of the exports of total domestic products in February 2023 compared to 61.13% a year ago; followed by crude 15.93% (17.59%), non-crude 8.13% (9.68%) and other commodities 10.81% (11.59%).Qatar's total imports were seen declining 14.3% and 16.4% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in February 2023.The country's imports from China stood at QR1.26bn, which accounted for 15.6% of the total imports; followed by the US at QR1.06bn (13.1%), India at QR0.56bn (6.9%), Germany at QR0.52bn (6.4%) and Italy at QR0.44bn (5.4%), at the end of February 2023.On a yearly basis, Qatar's imports from Italy plunged 36.34%, China by 24.58% and India by 15.17%; while those from Germany and the US increased 21.93% and 12.66% respectively in the review period.On a monthly basis, the country's imports from Italy shrank 55.21%, China by 17.71%, Germany by 5.14% and India by 4.44%; whereas those from the US grew 0.76% in February 2023.In February 2023, the "Turbojets, turbo-propellers, and Other Gas Turbines; Parts Thereof" was at the top of the imported group of commodities, valued at QR0.6bn, showing an increase of 39.5% year-on-year.In the second place was "Motor Cars & Other Motor Vehicles for The Transport of Persons” with QR0.29bn, which however showed a decrease of 40.1% on a yearly basis in February 2023.In third place was “Electrical Apparatus for Line Telephony/Telegraphy, Telephone Sets Etc.; Parts Thereof” with QR0.27bn, registering an increase of 19.7% on annualised basis.