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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal, a postgraduate in Econometrics with an advance qualification in Capital Markets and Financial Services, is Gulf Times' journalist. His coverage areas are debt and equity, hydrocarbons, international trade, environment, banks, insurance and real estate. Previously, he was in New Delhi, India as Senior Finance Correspondent of PTI.
The net tonnage through Qatar's ports witnessed more than 49% shrinkage year-on-year; while it increased about 9% month-on-month in December 2019, said the figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority in its latest monthly bulletin.
Business
Qatar ports see exponential increase month-on-month in cargoes in February

Qatar's maritime sector saw general cargo movement jump exponentially this February compared to January with its Hamad, Doha and Al Ruwais ports together reporting a stupendous 88% surge in freight handled.The three ports saw a 35% surge month-on-month in livestock handled in the review period, said Mwani Qatar in its tweet.The number of ships calling on Qatar's three ports stood at 207 in February 2023, which shrank 8.41% and 2.82% month-on-month and year-on-year 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 128 vessels call on the port in the review period.As many as 433 ships had called on three ports in the first two months of this year.The general cargo handled through the three ports was 210,104 tonnes in February 2023, which showed an 88.23% and 67.63% surge on monthly and yearly 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 63,125 freight tonnes (F/T) of bulk and 141,658F/T of breakbulk in February this year.On a cumulative basis, the general cargo movement through the three ports totalled 321,721 tonnes during January-February 2023.The three ports had handled 56,675 livestock in February 2023, which shot up 34.82% month-on-month and more than tripled on an annualised basis.The three ports together handled 83,668 livestock in the first two months of this year.The container handling through three ports stood at 112,609 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), which fell 1.28% year-on-year and 1.62% in February 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 112,197 TEUs of containers handled in the review period.The container handling through the three ports stood at 225,677 TEUs during January-February.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 three ports handled 5,665 RORO in February 2023, which registered a 0.75% fall month-on-month but soared 13.48% year-on-year. Hamad Port alone handled 5,653 units in February 2023.The three ports together handled as many as 11,373 vehicles during January-February 2023.The building materials traffic through the three ports stood at 38,761 tonnes in February 2023, which tanked 47.62% and 16.88% month-on-month and year-on-year respectively in the review period.A total of 83,668 tonnes of building materials had been handled by these ports in January-February 2023.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE treads flat path amid selling pressure from domestic funds, retail investors

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Wednesday treaded a flat course despite selling pressure from local retail investors and domestic institutions.The real estate, insurance, telecom and industrials counters witnessed higher than average demand even as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled mere 0.01% higher at 10,571.82 points.The market, which was skewed towards gainers, had touched an intraday high of 10,605 points, especially in the first 30 minutes of opening.The Gulf institutions were seen net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses were at 1.02%.More than 55% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR0.82bn or 0.13% jump to QR609.67bn, mainly on account of microcap segments.The Arab individual investors’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main market, which saw a total of 0.01mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan) valued at QR0.21mn changed hands across seven deals.The foreign retail investors were seen net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen outperforming the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index was up 0.01% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.34%, while the All Share Index was down 0.16% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The realty sector index shot up 1.28%, insurance (0.79%), telecom (0.7%) and industrials (0.43%); while banks and financial services declined 0.65%, transport (0.1%) and consumer goods and services (0.04%).Major gainers in the main market included Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Ezdan, Barwa, Qatar National Cement, Qatari German Medical Devices, Alijarah Holding, Estithmar Holding, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco, Ooredoo and Gulf Warehousing.Nevertheless, Mannai Corporation, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Beema, Qatar Islamic Insurance and QNB were among the shakers in the main market.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR4.25mn compared with net sellers of QR45.51mn on February 28.The foreign retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.18mn against net profit takers of QR1.99mn on Tuesday.The Arab individual investors’ net selling eased noticeably to QR1.92mn compared to QR4.4mn the previous day.However, the local individual investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR8.43mn against net buyers of QR6.23mn on February 28.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking expanded perceptibly to QR3.16mn compared to QR1.48mn on Tuesday.The foreign institutions’ net buying weakened substantially to QR18.06mn against QR46.85mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors’ net buying shrank marginally to QR0.28mn compared to QR0.38mn on February 28.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net profit takers to the extent of QR0.09mn on Tuesday.The main market saw 38% shrinkage in trade volumes to 116.92mn shares, 47% in value to QR393.09mn and 12% in deals to 13,300.

Hassan Ahmed AlEfrangi, Ahlibank CEO.
Business
Ahlibank to continue $2bn EMTN; shareholders approve 20% dividend

Ahlibank will continue its $2bn euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme and indicated issuing new bonds under this instrument.At the annual extraordinary general assembly held yesterday, shareholders approved "the continuation of the $2bn EMTN and authorising the board of directors to update the programme from time to time, pay any tranche and issue new bonds."This was announced by Sheikh Faisal bin AbdulAziz bin Jassem al-Thani, chairman of the board.The extraordinary general assembly authorised the board to determine the size and manner as may be specified by it, in compliance with the instructions of the regulatory authorities.The ordinary general assembly meeting approved the board’s recommendation of 20% dividends to the shareholders for 2022."Our strong financial performance and profits enable us to deliver more value for customers and shareholders. As a result of our steady performance in 2022, and taking into consideration the preservation of shareholders’ rights, the stability of the bank’s financial position, liquidity expectations, and the balance sheet, the board of directors proposed a cash dividend of QR0.2 per share for 2022," Sheikh Faisal said.Highlighting that the bank continued to implement its strategy to achieve stable financial performance, which is reflected in the results of the fiscal year 2022; he said net profits reached QR772mn compared to QR713mn in 2021.Total capital adequacy ratio in December 2022 stood at 20.5%, reflecting the bank’s strong financial position, according to him.Hassan Ahmed AlEfrangi, Ahlibank Qatar chief executive officer, said the bank's results for 2022 indicated a significant improvement in profitability and financial indicators and places it on a solid foundation and a good position for medium and long-term growth, especially since its focus is on providing sustainable and long-term returns to its shareholders."Ahlibank achieved all of its goals during the past year better than expected, reflecting the strength of its business model and its strategic focus on diversification," he said, adding the bank is moving forward in implementing projects that contribute to the development and growth of the national economy.He confirmed the growth of Ahlibank's digital services portfolio, which motivates it to continue investing in the bank's digital banking platform, in order to meet the requirements of its customers and provide digital services, thus cementing its leading position in this sector.Stressing that it has launched several digital initiatives, including mobile payment mechanisms such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Wallet, Fitbit Pay, and Garmin Pay; he said "we have continued to heavily invest in implementing the bank's digital transformation roadmap, and we had no doubt about our vision for digital transformation and our readiness to anticipate a new generation of digital banking services that preserve our leadership despite operational challenges."On sustainability initiatives; he said "we have drawn a roadmap for these initiatives, which we will work on over the coming years to solidify our commitment to sustainable development, in support of and adherence to the Qatar National Vision 2030, with one of its key pillars being the commitment to sustainability principles in all its aspects."

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar trade surplus tops QR24bn in January: PSA

Qatar's exports stood more than three times its imports as it reported a trade surplus of QR24.29bn in January 2023, according to official estimates.The country's total exports (valued free on board) amounted to QR33.99bn, while the total imports (cost, insurance, and freight) were QR9.7bn in the review period, according to figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority.However, the trade surplus shrank 6.2% and 14% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in January 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 4.4% and 11.3% contraction year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in January 2023.In January this year, Qatar's shipments to China amounted to QR6.27bn or 18.4% of the total exports of the country, followed by India QR4.29bn (12.6%), South Korea QR3.61bn (10.6%), Japan QR3.38bn (9.9%) and Singapore QR2.36bn (6.9%).On a yearly basis, Qatar's exports to Japan decreased by 15.52%, South Korea by 13.21% and China by 8.76%; whereas those to Singapore rose 11.57% and India by 2.66% in January 2023.On a monthly basis, Qatar's exports to China and South Korea shrank 25.3% and 7.22%; while those to Singapore, Japan, and India shot up 40.09%, 25.05%, and 1.9% respectively in the review period.The exports of petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons were up 0.3% on an annualised basis to QR22.06bn and non-crude by 9.6% to QR3.17bn; even as those of crude plummeted 10.4% to QR4.97bn and other commodities by 31% to QR2.96bn.On a monthly basis, the exports of other non-specified commodities tanked by 21.9%, petroleum gases by 15.8%, and crude by 0.8%; even as non-crude zoomed by 32.4% in January 2023.Petroleum gases constituted 66.53% of the exports of total domestic products in January 2023 compared to 63.35% a year ago period; followed by crude 14.99% (15.98%), non-crude 9.6% (8.32%) and other commodities 8.93% (12.35%).Qatar's total imports registered a 0.5% growth year-on-year but shrank 3.7% month-on-month in January 2023.The country's imports from China stood at QR1.54bn, which accounted for 15.8% of the total imports; followed by the US at QR1.05bn (10.8%), Italy at QR0.98bn (10.1%), India at QR0.59bn (6%) and Germany QR0.55bn (5.6%) at the end of January 2023.On a yearly basis, Qatar's imports from Italy more than doubled and those from Germany grew 23.02%; whereas those from China, India, and the US declined 34.11%, 17.02%, and 2.32% respectively this January.On a monthly basis, the country's imports from the US and Germany plunged 46.92% and 29.22%; while those from Italy, China, and India shot up 8.07%, 6.59%, and 5.41% respectively in the review period.In January 2023, "Turbojets, turbo-propellers, and Other Gas Turbines; Parts Thereof" was at the top of the imported group of commodities, valued at QR1bn, showing an increase of 72% year-on-year.In second place was “Electrical Apparatus for Line Telephony/Telegraphy, Telephone Sets Etc.; Parts Thereof” with QR0.5bn, registering an increase of 29.5% on annualised basis.In third place was "Motor Cars & Other Motor Vehicles for The Transport of Persons” with QR0.4bn, an increase of 16.8% on a yearly basis in January 2023.

Andreas Buelow, partner, Arthur D Little.
Business
Qatar constitutes 17.4% of total Mena investments in sustainable finance: A D Little

Qatar saw increased ESG (environment, social and governance) reporting across the board with its sustainable loans reaching a record $5bn in 2022, according to Arthur D Little, an international consulting firm.Qatar's $5bn sustainable loans constituted 17.4% of Middle East and North Africa's (Mena) total volume, it said in a report.Qatar, home to the Mena region’s biggest bank, has enacted a series of initiatives to make at least $75bn available for sustainable investments, as explained in Invest Qatar’s ESG report, it said, highlighting that Doha is looking to make ESG reporting mandatory some time in 2023.The report said financial institutions in the Mena have adopted ESG as a key strategic element in their commitment to going green.An impressive $24.55bn in green and sustainable finance was generated by the Mena region in 2021, an increase from $3.8bn in 2020, achieving an "extraordinary" 532% year-over-year growth, the report said."Green issuances from countries in the Mena are not standing still but are in fact outpacing global growth. With new reporting requirements taking effect, banks are facing an urgent need to kick-start their strategies and execute concepts throughout their organisations," said Andreas Buelow, partner, Arthur D Little.Nael Amin, senior manager (Financial Services Practice), Arthur D Little, said many financial institutions in the Middle East have designed comprehensive ESG strategies that open the door to new pathways to top-line growth, business opportunities, cost reductions, regulatory compliance, and employee satisfaction."This growing trend demonstrates the momentum that ESG is gathering in financial institutions, as the world’s banks increasingly emphasise ESG and infuse it into their business models. Banks in the Middle East have embraced the importance of a well-defined ESG strategy," he said.During the next step of implementation, frameworks such as data governance is vitally necessary, he said, adding the shift from strategy to implementation is complex and detail oriented.Though most reporting requirements remain voluntary, the report said "there is a clear trend toward mandating external reporting in the future. Financial institutions in the Middle East must design comprehensive strategies to cover the spectrum of ESG applications and comply with stronger reporting requirements."

Gulf Times
Business
Foreign funds’ net buying lifts QSE sentiments as index gains 33 points

The foreign institutions’ substantially increased net buying Tuesday lifted the Qatar Stock Exchange and its key index rose more than 33 points and capitalisation gained in excess of QR2bn..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[8019]**The insurance and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.31% to 10,571 points, reflecting the buoyancy in the global market amidst expectations of solid economic rebound in China.The market, which was skewed towards gainers, recovered from an intraday low of 10,506 points.The Gulf retail investors were seen net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, whose year-to-date losses were at 1.03%.About 47% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR2.48bn or 0.41% jump to QR610.49bn, mainly on account of midcap segments.The domestic institutions’ weakened net selling pressure had its influence in the main market, which saw a total of 4,726 exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.01mn changed hands across 10 deals.However, the Gulf institutions were seen increasingly net sellers 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 expanded 0.31% and All Share Index by 0.33%, while Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) shrank 0.24% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The insurance sector index rose 0.97%, banks and financial services (0.86%) and telecom (0.08%); while consumer goods and services declined 0.74%, transport (0.44%), real estate (0.28%) and industrials (0.03%).Major gainers in the main market included Estithmar Holding, Medicare Group, Dlala, Qatar Insurance, QNB, QIIB and Baladna. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Mannai Corporation, Ahlibank Qatar, Inma Holding, Mekdam Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Barwa, Milaha and Gulf Warehousing were among the shakers in the main market.The foreign institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR46.85mn compared to QR8.64mn on February 27.The Gulf retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.38mn against net sellers of QR0.36mn the previous day.The domestic institutions’ net profit booking declined perceptibly to QR1.48mn compared to QR8.98mn on Monday.However, the Gulf institutions’ net selling expanded significantly to QR45.51mn against QR11.74mn on February 27.The Arab individual investors’ net selling grew noticeably to QR4.4mn compared to QR1.32mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors’ net profit booking rose markedly to QR1.99mn against QR0.4mn on Monday.The Arab institutions were net sellers to the extent of QR0.09mn compared with no major net exposure on February 27.The local individual investors’ net buying shrank notably to QR6.23mn compared to QR13.17mn the previous day.The main market saw a 86% surge in trade volumes to 187.21mn shares to more than double value to QR740.17mn on 11% higher deals at 15,111.

Vertical farms and hydroponics offer vast opportunities to leverage from biotechnology to expand agriculture in Qatar, according to an Invest Qatar report.
Business
Qatar a promising candidate for transformation of agritech industry: Invest Qatar

Strategic location and technological infrastructure make Doha a promising candidate for transforming its agritech industry in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, according to the Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) Qatar.Vertical farms and hydroponics offer vast opportunities to leverage from biotechnology to expand agriculture in Doha, said Invest Qatar in its report."Qatar is a promising candidate for transformation of its agritech industry in the Mena region because of its strategic location and tech infrastructure," it said.In this regard, it highlighted that Qatar has high potential for import substitution as 90% of its food is sourced from overseas; value addition has seen an 73% increase between 2000 and 2019; and as much as 51,000 hectares capacity for increasing the land used for cultivation.Finding that rising disposable income and growing population are driving increasing demand for agricultural products; the report said private consumption in Qatar is expected to grow at 5.7% this year.The report highlighted the government initiatives such as joint food security project (Qatar National Research Fund and Ministry of Municipality) aimed at investments in sustainable food systems.It also noted the partnerships between the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) and the Ministry of Municipality to create investment opportunities in agritech.The report noted that hydroponics and aquaponics with the Artificial Intelligence of Things (HAIAT) project, which was recently started at QEER (Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute).The Qatar Development Bank (QDB) supports indoor vertical farming under Jahiz 2, which seeks to attract entrepreneurs with innovative industrial investments.IPA Qatar’s memorandum of understanding with Wadi Water will enable the company to invest in innovative technologies in the agriculture industry.Mahaseel, owned by Hassad food, supports local agricultural production and private sector investments in agritech innovation.Qatar’s vegetable and green fodder production values are expected to increase "significantly" to achieve the national target of 80% self-sufficiency, the report said.Qatar is well developed for agricultural production investments, supported by government policies, increasing consumption and disposable income. It is promotes investment in agriculture as part of its food security strategy.Highlighting that tech-based agricultural practices in Middle East and North Africa (Mena) have revolutionised agri-food sector investments; it said licensed IoT connections in Mena is slated to more than double to 70mn by 2025, enhancing the potential of agritech in the region.On the growing promise in the Mena agritech industry, the report said 33 investment deals in agritech startups amounting to $250mn in disclosed investments in the region from 2014 to 2020.The report found that as much as 70% of the global total usage of technologies like hydroponic farming, drip irrigation, and desalination plants are utilised in Mena's agriculture sector.Highlighting that the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is widely used in hot environments to improve the productivity of crops; it said "it is estimated that 70% of fresh vegetables and fruits could be economically grown in the Mena region using CEA."

Gulf Times
Business
QSE opens week strong as index gains 70 points; M-cap adds QR3bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Sunday opened the week on a stronger note as its key index gained 70 points, mainly on the back of stronger buying interests of foreign institutions..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[8019]**The insurance counter witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.66% to 10,541.6 points.The market, which was skewed towards gainers, was seen recovering from an intraday low of 10,450 points.The domestic institutions’ weakened net profit booking had its influence in the main market, whose year-to-date losses were curtailed to 1.31%.More than 53% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR2.79bn or 0.46% jump to QR606.42bn, mainly on account of midcap segments.The local retail investors continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market, which saw a total of 0.01mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.04mn changed hands across seven deals.The Gulf institutions were seen 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 expanded 0.66%, All Share Index by 0.56% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.33% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The insurance sector index surged 6.36%, banks and financial services (0.94%), real estate (0.5%) and industrials (0.22%); while transport declined 2.03%, telecom (0.4%) and consumer goods and services (0.22%).Major gainers in the main market included Qatar Insurance, QLM, Mannai Corporation, Gulf International Services, Qatari German Medical Devices, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, Qamco, Ezdan and United Development Company.Nevertheless, Zad Holding, Gulf Warehousing, Beema, Nakilat, Qatar National Cement and Aamal Company were among the losers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The foreign institutions’ net buying increased considerably to QR12.01mn compared to QR2.62mn on February 23.The domestic institutions’ net selling declined substantially to QR2.51mn against QR31.79mn the previous trading day.However, the Gulf institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR15.3mn compared with net buyers of QR1.15mn last Thursday.The foreign individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR2.64mn against net buyers of QR4.45mn on February 23.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking grew marginally to QR0.35mn compared to QR0.02mn the previous trading day.The Arab individual investors’ net buying declined noticeably to QR3.33mn against QR13.74mn last Thursday.The local individual investors’ net buying shrank markedly to QR5.47mn compared to QR9.77mn on February 23.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net buyers to the extent of QR0.09mn the previous trading day.The main market saw a 22% contraction in trade volumes to 96.78mn shares, 34% in value to QR293.01mn and 35% in deals to 9,098.

Gulf Times
Business
US rates uncertainty casts spell on QSE as index tanks 169 points

The US rate conundrum had its reflection in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which saw its key index plunge 169 points and capitalisation erode QR10bn this week.The domestic funds were increasingly into net selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 1.59% this week, which otherwise saw Qatar report about 56-fold year-on-year growth in budget surplus to QR89bn in 2022.The insurance, consumer goods and telecom counters witnessed higher than average selling pressure this week which saw Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), report gross written premiums of QR9.8bn in 2022.The local retail investors were seen bearish this week which saw QLM report net profit of QR83.29mn in 2022.More than 60% of the traded constituents were in the red this week, which saw Beema register net profit of QR56.62mn in 2022.The Gulf retail investors were seen increasingly net profit takers this week which saw Gulf International Services’ subsidiary Amwaj set to become the go-to player for all large-scale catering in Qatar and, potentially, in the wider region after merging Atyab and selected entities of Shaqab.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than main index this week which saw Dukhan Bank, the third largest and fastest growing Islamic lender begin trading to make the QSE reach half-century in listed constituents.The Gulf institutions’ weakened net buying had its influence in the main market this week which saw Baladna enter into a manufacturing agreement with global cheese and snack giant The Bel Group.However, the foreign funds were increasingly net buyers in the main market this week which saw the London Stock Exchange group entity FTSE Russell include Doha Insurance under microcap segment in its global equity indices and upgrade Estithmar Holding to small cap from microcap.The foreign retail investors were seen net buyers this week which saw FTSE Russell delete Qatar Insurance from midcap, Qatari German Medical Devices from microcap and QLM from microcap.Trade turnover declined amidst higher volumes in the main market this week, which saw a total of 0.29mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange traded fund QATR worth QR0.68mn trade across 26 deals.Market capitalisation was seen eroding QR9.66bn or 1.62% to QR603.63bn on the back of midcap segments this week which saw as many as 0.07mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange traded fund QETF valued at QR0.78mn change hands across 38 transactions.The Total Return Index knocked off 1.14%, All Share Index by 1.1% and All Islamic Index by 2.08% this week, which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than 66% of the total trade volume in the main market.The insurance sector index plummeted 4.53%, consumer goods and services (1.77%), telecom (1.59%), banks and financial services (1.54%), real estate 91.07%) and industrials (0.22%); while transport gained 1.77% this week which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.Major losers in the main market included Qatar National Cement, QLM, Vodafone Qatar, Doha Bank, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Qatar Islamic Bank, QIC, Woqod and Qamco this week which saw Capital Intelligence raise the long-term foreign currency ratings of QIB and QIIB.Nevertheless, Estithmar Holding, Al Khaleej Takaful, Mannai Corporation, Gulf Warehousing, Aamal Company, Lesha Bank, Inma Holding, Mazaya Qatar, Ezdan and Nakilat were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week.The domestic institutions’ net selling increased markedly to QR86.72mn compared to QR76.68mn the week ended February 16.The local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR24.19mn against net buyers of QR7.8mn the previous week.The Gulf individuals’ net profit booking strengthened perceptibly to QR2.95mn compared to QR1.13mn a week ago.The Gulf institutions’ net buying weakened substantially to QR29.37mn against QR56.87mn the week ended February 16.However, the foreign funds’ net buying increased significantly to QR80.4mn compared to QR23.95mn the previous week.The foreign individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR4.12mn against net sellers of QR5.73mn a week ago.The Arab funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.62mn compared with net profit takers of QR0.8mn the week ended February 16.The Arab individual investors’ net selling shrank noticeably to QR0.65mn against QR4.28mn the previous week.Total trade volume in the main market rose 11% to 637.54mn shares, whereas value declined 3% to QR2.04bn and deals by 7% to 67,175.

Gulf Times
Business
Fed rate concerns weaken QSE sentiments as index falls 193 points

Reflecting global concerns over the US Federal Reserve's combative stand on rates, the Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday saw its key index tank 193 points and capitalisation erode QR8bn.The domestic institutions were seen increasingly into net selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 1.81% to 10,471.97 points, although it touched an intraday high of 10,665 points.The market, which was skewed towards shakers, reflected the caution among investors as the Fed, which generally noted that upside risks to the inflation outlook remained a key factor shaping the policy outlook," and that interest rates would need to move higher and stay elevated "until inflation is clearly on a path to 2%."The foreign institutions’ weakened net selling had its influence on the main market, which reported year-to-date losses of 1.96%.More than 57% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR7.82bn or 1.28% decline to QR603.63bn, mainly on account of midcap segments.However, the Arab individuals were seen net buyers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.09mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.23mn changed hands across eight deals.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 faster than the other indices in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shrank 1.35% and the All Share Index by 1.29% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.59% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the rise.The banks and financial services sector index plunged 2.56%, transport (0.82%), real estate (0.72%), consumer goods and services (0.33%) and telecom (0.18%); while insurance shot up 5.25% and industrials (0.23%).Major losers in the main market included being Qatar Islamic Bank, QLM, Estithmar Holding, Baladna, Dlala, QNB, Doha Bank, Inma Holding, Nakilat and Gulf Warehousing.Nevertheless, Qatar Insurance, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Mannai Corporation, Zad Holding, Aamal Company, Lesha Bank and Qatar Oman Investment were among the gainers in the main market.In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net selling increased substantially to QR31.79mn compared to QR7.98mn on February 22.The foreign institutions’ net buying weakened considerably to QR2.62mn against QR12.35mn the previous day.However, the Arab individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR13.74mn compared with net sellers of QR8.96mn on Wednesday.The local individual investors’ net buying expanded noticeably to QR9.77mn against QR5.42mn on February 22.The foreign individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR4.45mn compared with sellers of QR0.2mn the previous day.The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.15mn against net profit takers of QR0.53mn on Wednesday.The Arab institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR0.09mn compared with no major net exposure on February 22.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking eased marginally to QR0.02mn against QR0.13mn the previous day.The main market saw a 7% jump in trade volumes to 123.85mn shares, 27% in value to QR445.64mn and 21% in deals to 14,097.

Hamad Port celebrates the achievement of 8mn TEU container throughout since 2016.
Business
Hamad Port crosses 8mn container throughput mark since becoming operational

Hamad Port has crossed the 8mn container throughput milestone since the start of operations in December 2016, indicating the growing importance of Qatar in the regional and international maritime space."This significant achievement reinforces the confidence the shipping lines have in Hamad Port’s facilities and QTerminals’ safe services, competency and performance," the terminal operating company said in a tweet.The achievement of the 8mn TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) mark will further encourage shipping lines to add Hamad Port in the rotation of their mainline services calling the Middle East region and use it as one of the regional transshipment hubs, according to QTerminals.In 2022, Mwani Qatar continued its efforts to transform the country into a vibrant regional trade hub by strengthening the role of Hamad Port as a pivotal gateway for transshipment in the region.Hamad Port's strategic geographical location offers opportunities to create cargo movement towards the upper Gulf, supporting countries such as Kuwait and Iraq and south towards Oman. Its total shipping lines network has reached 28, offering direct and indirect services to over 100 destinations around world.The new services provide additional opportunities for direct trade between Qatar and the world, cementing the port’s role towards achieving the goals aimed at transforming Qatar into a vibrant regional trade hub, Mwani Qatar had said, adding it would also provide regular service, faster and cost-effective transit.QTerminals, which bagged the “Best Container Terminal Operator” and “Best Port Infrastructure Development Company” for the year 2022 by International Finance Magazine, in December saw the commencement of the weekly India to East MED (Mediterranean) service.The year also saw the commencement of the Gulf-Pakistan Express (GPX) service, Gulf-India Express 2 (GIX2), a fortnightly service connecting Hamad Port with Singapore.A report from KPMG had earlier said container penetration in the Gulf Co-operation Council or GCC countries is more than six times that of the world average and significantly higher than that of major developed nations in the west.The development of port-linked free trade zones has contributed to the success of the sector in the region, it said, adding the GCC port operators have continued to invest in infrastructure, expansion, and technology, increasing throughput capacity.Umm Alhoul Free Zone, which is located directly beside Hamad Port, was established for sectors as maritime industries, heavy manufacturing, the emerging technologies and logistics hub.

Ahmed Hashem, Dukhan Bank acting CEO
Business
Dukhan Bank readies ambitious expansion plan

Dukhan Bank, a leading Shariah-compliant lender, is "aggressively" going to the market as it finds immense scope, especially for the wholesale banking in view of the country undertaking expansion in its hydrocarbons sector, according to a top official.Highlighting that the bank has undertaken a prudent strategy since the merger of Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar (IBQ), Dukhan Bank acting chief executive officer Ahmed Hashem said the strategy has been to grow the asset base, increase the profitability and maintain the cost and it has been successful in the past three years.The bank's assets have historically grown at 20% per annum, total income by 11%, net financing by 13% and net profit by 25% at the end of 2021. It achieved 90% cost synergies during the first year after merger and 100% before the second year of merger, according to the bank’s financial statement."We are (now) heading to next level. We are aggressively going to the market," he told the media on the sidelines of Dukhan Bank's listing on the Qatar Stock Exchange.Finding greater room for growth in the wholesale banking sector, he said it was because of the various projects announced by the government, especially the North Field Expansion (NFE), through which Qatar plans to increase liquefied natural gas production to 126mn tonnes per annum from the present 77mn tonnes.The bank's strategy is to expand the wholesale banking with focus toward higher value added sectors. Its wholesale banking business contributed 39% to the total income during the third quarter (Q3) ended 2022. The segment, which has corporate banking and government and institutional banking, constituted 65% of net fee and commission income, 37% of total assets and 68% of net profit during Q3, 2022.Hashem said the bank is also "ambitious" on the retail side, which constitutes 25% of the bank's net profitability during Q3, 2022. The retail and private banking – which comprises financings, deposits, wealth management and advisory – constituted 42% of net financing and investment earnings and 37% of assets at the end of Q3, 2022.Dukhan Bank’s prudent risk management continues to monitor asset quality and take prudent impairments as its provision coverage improved to 64.8% during Q3, 2022 against 52.3% in 2020.“As we believe in the importance of investing in the future, Dukhan Bank adopts an ambitious vision, promotes digital transformation, and specialises in customer-centric services,” Hashem said.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE index closes 23 points lower; but M-cap gains QR14bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange Tuesday lost about 23 points and its key index retreated below 10,700 points, mainly dragged by insurance, consumer goods and industrials sectors.The domestic funds were increasingly into net selling as the 20-stock Qatar Index shed 0.21% to 10,694.23 points.The market, which was skewed towards shakers, saw its key barometer recover from an intraday low of 10,640 points, especially in the first 120 minutes of opening.The Arab retail investors were seen net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date gains truncated to 0.12%.The Gulf institutions weakened net buying also had its influence in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR14.29bn or 2.38% fall to QR614.65bn, as Dukhan Bank made its entry into the trading ring.However, the foreign institutions were increasingly net buyers in the main market, which saw a total of 0.03mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.26mn changed hands across eight deals.The foreign individuals were also increasingly net buyers in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the main index in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.21%, Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.11% and All Share Index by 0.17% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover grew amidst lower volumes.The insurance sector index shot up 1.4%, consumer goods and services (0.58%), industrials (0.58%), real estate (0.55%) and banks and financial services (0.23%); while telecom shot up 2.58% and telecom (0.07%).About 78% of the traded constituents were in the red with the major losers being Dukhan Bank, Vodafone Qatar, Gulf Warehousing, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Lesha Bank, Inma Holding, Dlala, Qatar National Cement, Salam International Investment, Qamco, Aamal Company, QLM and Beema.Nevertheless, Nakilat, Estithmar Holding, Qatari Investors Group, QNB and Baladna were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net selling increased noticeably to QR14.25mn compared to QR3.63mn on February 20.The Arab individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR2.8mn against net buyers of QR0.62mn the previous day.The Gulf institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR4.35mn compared to QR20.66mnm on Monday.However, the foreign institutions’ net buying expanded drastically to QR25.74mn against QR11.81mn on February 20.The foreign individual investors’ net buying grew marginally to QR1.49mn compared to QR1.32mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR0.51mn against net profit takers of QR1.87mn on Sunday.The Arab institutions’ net buying rose marginally to QR0.18mn compared to QR0.13mn on February 20.The local individuals’ net selling shrank markedly to QR15.21mn against QR29.06mn compared the previous day.The main market saw a 13% contraction in trade volumes to 123.87mn shares but on 3% jump in value to QR434.07mn and 1% in deals to 14,421.

Sheikh Mohamed rings the customary bell to announce the advent of Dukhan Bank on QSE trading ring as other officials and dignitaries look on. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Business
Dukhan Bank begins trading as QSE makes half-century in listed constituents

Dukhan Bank, the third largest and fastest growing Islamic lender, Tuesday began trading in the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which now has 50 listed constituents.Dukhan Bank chairman and managing director Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani rang the customary bell in the presence of QSE acting chief executive officer Abdul Aziz Nasser al-Emadi and other senior officials and dignitaries.“We are thrilled to see Dukhan Bank’s shares successfully listed on Qatar Stock Exchange giving the investment community a promising investment choice in the banking sector category...Our unrelenting efforts to provide world-class Shariah-compliant services to our clients helped us today to boast a robust 150,000 customers base and assets worth over QR100bn," Sheikh Mohamed said.Dukhan Bank, which forayed into QSE with direct listing, a common mechanism in all the regional markets that allows companies to be listed without an IPO, however settled 31% lower at the close.On the decline in stock price on debut day, Dukhan Bank acting chief executive officer Ahmed Hashem said it was expected “as the market is not at its best of the time now. We are expecting that shares will bounce back during the course of next one week.”Dukhan Bank’s shares are listed under the banks and financial services sector with the ticker 'DUBK'. The lender's share price was floated on the first trading day.The lender, the second one to be listed on QSE this year, saw as many as 22.46mn shares valued at QR73.57mn trade across 1,878 transactions. Its shares comprised about 39% of the total volumes in the bank and financial services sector.The stock’s opening price was QR4, but the last transaction price was QR2.992 riyals. The highest price reached QR4 during the trading session and the lowest price was QR2.99. Starting from the second day of trading, the stock price will be allowed to fluctuate by 10% up and down, as is the case for other companies listed on the market."The listing of this company will increase the depth of the market and unlock opportunities to expand our investor base and access to capital, while providing investors with the opportunity to invest in leading Qatari companies,” al-Emadi said.The QSE is making unremitting efforts to increase the number of companies listed on the stock exchange by raising awareness of the advantages of listing, he added.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar's industrial production dips in December 2022; beverages, food, petroleum products defy trend: PSA

Qatar's industrial production was on the decline on an annualised basis in December 2022, even as production of beverages, food and refined petroleum products was on the rise, according to the latest official data.The country’s IPI or industrial production index declined 8.5% and 6.4% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period, said the 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 an 11.1% plunge surge on a yearly basis in December 2022 owing to an 11.1% decrease in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas, even as there was a 14.6% surge in other mining and quarrying sectors.On a monthly basis, the index shrank 7.7% on account of a 7.7% contraction in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas and 1.9% in other mining and quarrying sectors in the review period.The manufacturing index, with a relative weight of 15.85%, tanked 3.1% year-on-year in December 2022 owing to 15.3% shrinkage in the production of cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 11.3% in basic metals, 9.1% in printing and reproduction of recorded media, 2.6% in rubber and plastics products and 0.9% in chemicals and chemical related products.Nevertheless, there was a 20.4% increase in the production of beverages, 6.2% in food products and 5.2% in refined petroleum products in the review period.On a monthly basis, the manufacturing index was down 1.1% owing to a 4.1% reduction in the production of food products, 3.2% in chemicals and chemical products, 2.1% in beverages and 1% in rubber and plastics products in December 2022.However, there was a 3.6% jump in the production of cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 3% in basic metals, 1.9% in printing and reproduction of recorded media and 1.2% in refined petroleum products in the review period.Electricity, which has 1.16% weight in the IPI basket, saw its index zoom 25.3% year-on-year but shrank 32.4% month-on-month in December 2022.In the case of water, which has a 0.53% weight, the index saw a 69.2% and 4.3% increase year-on-year and month-on-month respectively last December.

Gulf Times
Business
Dukhan Bank debuts trading on QSE Tuesday

Dukhan Bank, the third largest and fastest growing Islamic lender in Qatar with total assets of more than QR100bn, will Tuesday make its entry into the trading ring of the Qatar Stock Exchange, the second entity to go public through direct listing this year.With Dukhan Bank's listing, total number of listed constituents in the banks and financial services sector will become 13 and overall, it will be 50.The lender has been allotted the symbol "DUBK".Dukhan Bank is listing 5.23bn shares at QR4.35 per piece (including premium of QR3.35). Market capitalisation will be QR22.77bn at listing valuation with sufficient free float of 33.344%.The bank’s price will be floating Tuesday (being the first day of listing), while from the second day, the price will be allowed to fluctuate by 10%, up or down, as is the case for the other companies listed on the market.There will be no change in the time of the trading session during the first day of listing and the pre-open period will remain at 9am as usual."We believe that the direct listing will offer attractive levels of trading liquidity and provide an opportunity for qualified investors and niche clients to join the ongoing growth journey of the bank," Dukhan Bank chairman and managing director Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani had said earlier.The bank's founders represent 66.66% of total share capital upon listing and will be restricted from selling shares for the first year of trading, as per the Qatar Financial Market Authority rules, while the remaining share capital of 33.34% shall be freely tradable.The founders are General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority (Pension Fund) with 24.48% stake; General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority (Military Pension Fund) with 11.67%; Qatar Holding with 6.96%; Al Sanad Trading Company and its related companies with 10.08% and Brooq Trading Company and its related companies with 13.47%.The bank was incorporated in 2008 under the name of Barwa Bank and commenced operations in 2009 as a full-service Shariah-compliant entity. It rebranded itself as Dukhan Bank in October 2020, following the merger with International Bank of Qatar in 2019.As part of the merger, the bank solidified its already strong capital position, which helped it to grow and beat the market on multiple fronts including financing assets, customer deposits and net profit, which shown double digit growth with a compound annual growth rate of more than 20% post-merger in 2019 till last year-end.The existing capital base on back of strong profitability, operational efficiency and prudent risk management in the past, allows it to excel in the future as well with same ambitions, the bank said.

A higher than average selling pressure at the insurance and banking counters led the 20-stock Qatar Index to plummet 2.17% to 10,606.7 points although it touched an intraday high of 10,839 points.
Business
QSE treads a flat path despite selling at telecom, banking and consumer goods counters; Islamic index defies the trend

The Qatar Stock Exchange Monday saw strong buying interests from the Gulf institutions even as it treaded a flat path,.text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:5px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 5px; margin-right: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 5px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 40%;}}**media[8019]**amidst global concerns that the US Fed may take an aggressive stand on rates to tame inflation.The buying interests at the transport, industrials and insurance counters was to a great extent contained by selling pressure at the telecom, banking and consumer goods counters as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled mere 0.29 points higher at 10,716.74 points.The market, which was skewed towards gainers, saw its key barometer touch an intraday low of 10,641 points, especially in the first 30 minutes of opening.The foreign retail investors were seen net buyers in the main market, which reported year-to-date gains of 0.33%.The Arab individual investors were also seen bullish, albeit at lower levels, in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR0.12n or 0.02% fall to QR600.36bn, mainly led by microcap segments.The domestic institutions’ net selling weakened significantly in the main market, which saw a total of 0.11mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.67mn changed hands across 37 deals.The foreign institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the main index in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index remained flat, while Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) gained 0.32% but All Share Index was down 0.06% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the rise.The transport sector index rose 0.99%, industrials (0.62%) and insurance (0.18%); while telecom declined 1.25%, banks and financial services (0.39%), consumer goods and services (0.11%) and real estate (0.05%).About 46% of the traded constituents extended gains with major movers being Gulf Warehousing, Ahlibank Qatar, Beema, Al Khaleej Takaful, Qatari German Medical Devices, Mannai Corporation, Baladna, Qatar Electricity and Water, Gulf International Services, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Estithmar Holding and Qamco.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatar National Cement, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Lesha Bank, Salam International Investment, Ooredoo and Nakilat were among the shakers 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 QR20.66mnm compared to QR3.74mn on February 19.The foreign individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.32mn against net sellers of QR2.94mn the previous day.The Arab individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR0.62mn compared with net profit takers of QR3.27mn on Sunday.The domestic institutions’ net selling weakened considerably to QR3.63mn against QR29.09mn on February 19.However, the local individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR29.06mn compared with net buyers of QR4.91mn the previous day.The Gulf retail investors’ net profit booking strengthened marginally to QR1.87mn against QR1.44mn on Sunday.The foreign institutions’ net buying shrank noticeably to QR11.81mn compared to QR27.87mn on February 19.The Arab institutions turned net buying eased marginally to QR0.13mn against QR0.22mn the previous day.The main market saw an 8% jump in trade volumes to 141.98mn shares, 8% in value to QR420.8mn and 12% in deals to 14,259.

Gulf Times
Business
FTSE Russell includes Doha Insurance, upgrades Estithmar Holding

The London Stock Exchange group entity FTSE Russell has included Doha Insurance under microcap segment in its global equity indices and has upgraded Estithmar Holding to small cap from microcap.The index compiler deleted Qatar Insurance from midcap segment, Qatari German Medical Devices from microcap and QLM from microcap.Commercial Bank, Ezdan Holding and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding have been downgraded to midcap from large cap. United Development Company has been downgraded from mid to small cap segment.The changes, which come as part of the February 2021 semi-annual review, will be effective on the close of business on March 16, 2023The index review changes included within the attached files may be subject to revision until close of business Friday, 03 March 2023. Effective Monday, March 6, 2023, the index review changes will be considered final.Any subsequent changes will generally only be considered in exceptional circumstances, in accordance with the FTSE Russell recalculation policy and guidelines.The companies’ inclusion and reclassification in global indices are subject to various criteria, the most important of which are the size of the company’s investable capital and market capitalisation, liquidity and turnover rates.The periodic index reviews, including companies’ reclassifications, additions and deletions, carried out by international index providers are among the main factors influencing the investment appetite of international investors and portfolio managers.The QSE is seen actively pursuing a strategy to lure overseas investments as part of further diversifying its investor base, having put in place the required legislation, including a higher up to 49% foreign ownership limit (FOL).Many companies have already enhanced FOL up to 49% and the Qatar Central Securities Depository (QCSD) has amended the FOL in this regard.The bourse had said it has become a focus of interest for many foreign investment portfolios from the US, Europe and Asia, and therefore has readied its infrastructure and technical to admit new companies and instruments.