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Thursday, February 02, 2023 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal, a postgraduate in Econometrics with an advance qualification in Capital Markets and Financial Services, is Gulf Times' journalist. His coverage areas are debt and equity, hydrocarbons, international trade, environment, banks, insurance and real estate. Previously, he was in New Delhi, India as Senior Finance Correspondent of PTI.
QSE
Business
Global concerns drag QSE 178 points; M-cap erodes QR10bn

Reflecting the global concerns on weak oil prices and the US’ stand on inflation, the Qatar Stock Exchange saw its key index plummet 178 points and capitalisation erode QR10bn.An across the board selling, especially in the telecom and industrials counters, led the 20-stock Qatar Index tank 1.42% to 12,407.79 points, although it touched an intraday high of 12,569 points.The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net profit booking in the market, whose year-to-date gains further truncated to 6.73%.The domestic funds’ increased net selling pressure had its influence in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR9.72bn or 1.39% decrease to QR691.32bn, mainly on the back of large and midcap segments.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.29mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR1.04mn changed hands across 27 deals.Trade turnover volumes were on the decline in the main market; while the venture market saw increased turnover and volumes.The foreign institutions were seen bearish in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Gulf retail investors were seen net sellers in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index knocked off 1.42%, the All Share Index by 1.32% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.18%.The telecom sector index tanked 1.87%, industrials (1.85%), banks and financial services (1.3%), consumer goods and services (1.09%), insurance (0.73%), real estate (0.7%) and transport (0.43%).About 76% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market and included Al Khaleej Takaful, Qatar Electricity and Water, Ooredoo, Qatari Investors Group, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, QNB, Commercial Bank, QIIB, Woqod, Industries Qatar, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Salam International Investment, Mazaya Qatar, Barwa and Nakilat.Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Mannai Corporation, Al Meera, Inma Holding and Aamal Company were among the gainers in the main market.In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking increased markedly to QR7.31mn compared to QR3.67mn on November 14.The domestic institutions’ net selling grew noticeably to QR4.02mn against QR0.26mn the previous day.The foreign funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.54mn compared with net buyers of QR12.49mn on Monday.The Gulf individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR0.42mn against net buyers of QR0.65mn on November 14.However, the local retail investors’ net buying strengthened markedly to QR7.4mn compared to QR1.9mn the previous day.The foreign individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR2.55mn against net sellers of QR12.21mn on Monday.The Arab retail investors’ net buying expanded perceptibly to QR2.34mn compared to QR0.95mn on November 14.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net buyers to the extent of QR0.15mn the previous day.Total trade volume in the main market plunged 27% to 77.79mn shares, value by 30% to QR293.62mn and deals by 27% to 11,677.The venture market saw a 14% jump in trade volumes to 0.08mn equities, 9% in value to QR0.61mn and 27% in transactions to 55.

QSE
Business
'FIFA World Cup to give robust returns to QSE investors'

Qatar, like other host countries for the previous versions of the World Cup, is expected to give attractive double-digit returns to investors during the three-year window leading to the august soccer tournament. Moreover, ETFs or exchange traded funds on the QSE provide access to Qatar's World Cup story, Mohsin Mujtaba, Director, Product and Market Development, Qatar Stock Exchange, said in a post at one of the social media. Historically, FIFA World Cup host countries have provided returns of 35%-45% (except for Brazil) during the three years window around the World Cup event, according to him. "Qatar is half way through this period and follows the same trend providing around 22% return," he said. An analyst with a leading brokerage house said he expects QSE to touch a new record high as the country's macro fundamentals are solid. Already, leading international credit rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor's have upgraded the outlook on Qatar to "positive" from "stable" as they cite the strengths as Qatar's exceptionally high level of per-capita income, vast hydrocarbon reserves with low extraction costs, the government's robust net asset position, and an established track record of macroeconomic and fiscal policy effectiveness, notwithstanding elevated external debt and some transparency shortcomings. Mujtaba said the ETFs or exchange listed funds on the QSE provide access to Qatar's World Cup story. Qatar at present has two ETFs – sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank, apart from 47 companies listed on the QSE. In the past, the host countries have by and large seen hugely outperforming stock gains for the year it hosts the cup. Various reports suggest that a majority of the host countries had outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index. Investors and analysts have already factored in the potential benefits for the sectors such as retailers, services and logistics, which are expected to substantially improve their top and bottom-lines by the last quarter of the year. The FIFA 2022 is expected to contribute $17bn to Qatar’s economy, which is expected to have positive spillover in the private sector, they said. Ever since Qatar won the bid for hosting FIFA World Cup, the actual economic impact has come from investment in infrastructure – building stadiums and roads and trains to support the upsurge in tourism in the country. S&P recently said Qatar's hospitality, residential real estate, retail, and telecoms sectors are expected to reap tangible benefits from the World Cup.    

Gulf Times
Business
'FIFA World Cup to give robust returns to QSE investors'

* FIFA World Cup hosts' bourses give robust returns   Qatar, like other host countries for the previous versions of the World Cup, is expected to give attractive double-digit returns to investors during the three-year window leading to the august soccer tournament. Moreover, ETFs or exchange traded funds on the QSE provide access to Qatar's World Cup story, Mohsin Mujtaba, Director, Product and Market Development, Qatar Stock Exchange, said in a post at one of the social media. Historically, FIFA World Cup host countries have provided returns of 35%-45% (except for Brazil) during the three years window around the World Cup event, according to him. "Qatar is half way through this period and follows the same trend providing around 22% return," he said. An analyst with a leading brokerage house said he expects QSE to touch a new record high as the country's macro fundamentals are solid. Already, leading international credit rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor's have upgraded the outlook on Qatar to "positive" from "stable" as they cite the strengths as Qatar's exceptionally high level of per-capita income, vast hydrocarbon reserves with low extraction costs, the government's robust net asset position, and an established track record of macroeconomic and fiscal policy effectiveness, notwithstanding elevated external debt and some transparency shortcomings. Mujtaba said the ETFs or exchange listed funds on the QSE provide access to Qatar's World Cup story. Qatar at present has two ETFs – sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank, apart from 47 companies listed on the QSE. In the past, the host countries have by and large seen hugely outperforming stock gains for the year it hosts the cup. Various reports suggest that a majority of the host countries had outperformed the MSCI All Country World Index. Investors and analysts have already factored in the potential benefits for the sectors such as retailers, services and logistics, which are expected to substantially improve their top and bottom-lines by the last quarter of the year. The FIFA 2022 is expected to contribute $17bn to Qatar’s economy, which is expected to have positive spillover in the private sector, they said. Ever since Qatar won the bid for hosting FIFA World Cup, the actual economic impact has come from investment in infrastructure – building stadiums and roads and trains to support the upsurge in tourism in the country. S&P recently said Qatar's hospitality, residential real estate, retail, and telecoms sectors are expected to reap tangible benefits from the World Cup.

Qatar is expected to spend QR55bn per annum for the next five years, even as its planned infrastructure projects have been completed, according to Moody's, an international credit rating agency
Business
Qatar’s capex to average QR55bn per annum over next five years: Moody’s

Qatar is expected to spend QR55bn per annum for the next five years, even as its planned infrastructure projects have been completed, according to Moody's, an international credit rating agency. Assuming that capital spending averages around QR55bn per year over the next five years, Moody's expects that total government spending could decline to around 20% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2027 from an average of 30% of GDP during 2017-21, it said. Expects the capital spending to be reduced over the next 5-10 years; it nevertheless said the reduction in spending and the ramp up in liquefied natural gas (LNG) have the potential to offset revenue impact on declining energy prices over the longer term. "Significant spending reduction and higher hydrocarbon output over the next five years would make government finances more resilient to potential future declines in oil prices and, in Moody's view, has the potential to fully offset the negative fiscal impact of moderating energy prices toward the end of the decade," it said. Although oil prices are expected to remain volatile and eventually decline to around $50-$70 per barrel in the medium term, Moody's view that the geopolitical risk premium related to the military conflict in Ukraine will keep oil prices elevated during the next two years, and oil prices will likely average above the medium-term range well into 2025. Qatar's national oil and gas company is currently going ahead with its plans to expand the country's natural gas and LNG production capacity. By adding six new liquefaction trains, the project aims to increase Qatar's LNG output by 40% to 110mn tonnes per annum (Mtpa) during 2025-27 and another 15% (to 126Mtpa) during 2027-28. "The expansion is set to significantly increase the country's LNG exports, the output of natural gas condensate, and the related government revenue," it said. The LNG exports alone were equivalent to nearly 30% of GDP in 2021, contributing more than 70% to the overall hydrocarbon export mix, and accounting for more than 61% of total goods exports. On the fiscal side, Qatar's oil and gas revenue (including the portion derived from LNG and natural gas condensate) accounted for more than 80% of total government revenue and were equivalent to around 24% of GDP (gross domestic product). Highlighting that over the next few years, Qatar's fiscal performance is also likely to benefit from spending cuts; Moody's said the government "significantly" increased its capital spending after 2010, when it won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A surge in oil and LNG prices since 2020 has generated a large revenue windfall for Qatar, turning its small fiscal deficit in 2020 and balanced budget in 2021 into a large fiscal surplus this year. Based on the assumption that oil prices average around $100/barrel this year, Moody's estimates that the fiscal surplus will be around 9.5% of GDP in 2022, offering the government an opportunity to reduce its debt burden below the level last seen in 2016, when its outstanding debt was equivalent to around 47% of GDP. Finding that the government has already used some of the revenue windfall to reduce debt; Moody's estimates that as of September 2022, government debt declined to around 42% of estimated full year GDP (126% of full-year revenue) from 58.4% of GDP (197% of revenue) at the end of 2021 and 72.7% of GDP (222% of revenue) in 2020, and "this level is likely to remain broadly unchanged through the end of the year."

Gulf Times
Business
Ratings upgrade helps boost QSE sentiments; index surges 251 points

The sovereign and underlying companies’ ratings upgrade has to a large extend masked the global uncertainty, ahead of the US inflation data, thus helping the Qatar Stock Exchange gain a huge 251 points in key barometer and about QR13bn in capitalisation this week. The foreign institutions were increasingly net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index surged 2.04% this week which saw Moody’s, a global credit rating agency, affirm the ratings of QatarEnergy, Industries Qatar and Qatar General Electricity and Water (Kahramaa) and upgrade their outlook to "positive" from "stable". The telecom and consumer goods sector witnessed higher than average demand in the market this week which saw Moody's affirm the 'A1' guaranteed senior secured debt rating of RasGas 3 as well as the 'A1' senior secured debt rating and the 'A2' senior subordinated debt rating of Nakilat Inc. The Arab retail investors were seen net buyers this week which saw Standard and Poor’s (S&P) upgrade Commercial Bank’s long-term issuer credit rating to ‘A-’ from ‘BBB+’ and affirm the ‘A-2’ short-term rating. The Gulf individuals’ substantially weakened net selling had its influence in the market this week which saw Lesha Bank acquire the second phase of a company headquarters (the "Campus"), in Columbus Ohio in the US. The Islamic index was seen outperforming the other indices this week which saw S&P find that Qatar’s hospitality, realty, retail and telecom sectors to reap the maximum benefit from the World Cup, which will begin in more than a week. More than 65% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors this week which saw a total of 0.28mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange traded fund QATR worth QR0.76mn trade across 27 deals. Trade turnover and volumes were on the decline in the main market; while the venture market saw higher value and volumes this week, which saw as many as 0.1mn Doha Bank-sponsored QETF valued at QR1.2mn change hands across 60 transactions. Market capitalisation was seen gaining QR12.98bn or 1.89% to QR700.18bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than 59% of the total trade volume in the main market. The Total Return Index zoomed 2.04%, All Share Index by 1.76% and All Islamic Index by 2.63% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The telecom sector soared 6.55%, consumer goods and services (2.17%), industrials (1.87%), banks and financial services (1.7%), transport (0.61%) and realty (0.53%); while insurance fell 0.88% this week, which saw no trading of treasury bills. Major gainers in the main market included Mannai Corporation, Ooredoo, Qatar Electricity and Water, Baladna, Qatar Islamic Bank, QIIB, Alijarah Holding, Woqod, Qatar National Cement, Qatari Investors Group, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco, Mazaya Qatar and Vodafone Qatar. In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mekdam Holding saw their shares appreciate in value this week. Nevertheless, Dlala, Widam Food, Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing and QLM saw their shares depreciate in value this week. The foreign funds’ net buying increased considerably to QR390.6mn compared to QR330.04mn the week ended November 4. The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR7.86mn against net profit takers of QR9.19mn the previous week. The Gulf retail investors’ net selling declined substantially to QR8.45mn compared to QR78.83mn a week ago. The Qatari individuals’ net profit booking fell markedly to QR87.02mn against QR101.5mn the week ended November 4. However, the domestic funds’ net selling grew significantly to QR210.21mn compared to QR145.65mn the previous week. The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking expanded drastically to QR59.2mn against QR8.09mn a week ago. The foreign individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR33.33mn compared with net buyers of QR13.04mn the week ended November 4. The Arab institutions turned net profit takers to the tune of QR0.27mn against net buyers of QR0.18mn the previous week. Total trade volume in the main market shrank 43% to 567.14mn shares, value by 18% to QR2.24bn and deals by 4% to 81,401. The venture market saw a 61% surge in trade volumes to 1.18mn equities, 77% in value to QR9.14mn and 40% in transactions to 492.  

Gulf Times
Business
Global concerns weigh on QSE as index tanks 107 points; M-cap erodes QR6bn

Reflecting the global concerns, ahead of the US inflation data, the Qatar Stock Exchange yesterday was on a weak wicket with its key index falling 107 points and capitalisation eroding in excess of QR6bn. The banking, transport and insurance counters witnessed higher than average selling pressure as the 20-stock Qatar Index lost 0.84% to 12,557.26 points, although it touched an intraday high of 12,637 points. The local retail investors turned net profit takers in the market, whose year-to-date gains truncated to 8.03%. The Gulf retail investors turned bearish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR6.42bn or 0.91% decrease to QR700.18bn, mainly on the back of midcap segments. The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.07mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.05mn changed hands across four deals. Trade turnover volumes were seen declining in the main market, while the junior bourse saw increased trade turnover and volumes. The domestic funds continued to be net sellers but with lesser intensity in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The foreign institutions were increasingly into net buying in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index shed 0.84% to 25,721.35 points, the All Share Index by 0.87% to 4,000.4 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.62% to 2,776.1 points. The banks and financial services sector index tanked 1.13%, transport (0.95%), insurance 90.91%), industrials (0.68%), real estate (0.65%) and consumer goods and services (0.62%), while telecom gained 0.34%. More than 77% of the traded constituents in the main market were in the red with losers being Qatar Oman Investment, Al Khaleej Takaful, QLM, Qatari German Medical Devices, Ezdan, QNB, Commercial Bank, Salam International Investment, Qatar Electricity and Water, Qamco, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding and Gulf Warehousing. Nevertheless, Mannai Corporation, Aamal Company, Doha Bank, Qatar Islamic Insurance and Ooredoo were among the gainers in the main market. In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares appreciate in value. The local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR58.63mn compared with net buyers of QR6.13mn on November 9. The Gulf individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR1.17mn against net buyers of QR1.31mn the previous day. The Arab retail investors’ net buying weakened markedly to QR0.34mn compared to QR2.15mn on Wednesday. However, the foreign institutions’ net buying shot up substantially to QR112.65mn against QR54mn on November 9. The domestic institutions’ net profit booking weakened noticeably to QR33.79mn compared to QR43.16mn the previous day. The Gulf institutions’ net selling decreased marginally perceptibly to QR17.88mn against QR18.52mn on Wednesday. The foreign individuals’ net profit booking eased marginally to QR1.5mn compared to QR1.91mn on November 9. The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the third straight session. Total trade volume in the main market declined 17% to 87.6mn shares, value by 3% to QR412.02mn and deals by 13% to 13,760.

Gulf Times
Business
Moody’s upgrades outlook on RasGas 3, Nakilat Inc to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’

Global credit rating agency Moody’s has affirmed the ‘A1’ guaranteed senior secured debt rating of RasGas 3 as well as the ‘A1’ senior secured debt rating and the ‘A2’ senior subordinated debt rating of Nakilat Inc. The outlook on these issuers has been upgraded to “positive” from “stable”, following Moody’s affirmation of the ‘Aa3’ government bond and issuer ratings of Qatar, and change in outlook to “positive” from “stable”. The rating actions on RasGas 3 and Nakilat Inc reflect that each is a government related issuer (GRI) and that the ratings benefit from Moody’s assumption of extraordinary support, if required, from the government to avoid a default on their debt obligations, which leads to a significant uplift from the standalone credit strength, or Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA), of the projects. RasGas 3’s ‘baa1’ BCA is affirmed, which reflects its strong competitive position, very strong financial metrics, even in a low oil and gas price scenario, generally beneficial project finance structural features, although lacking certain security interests and subject to limitations on the likely effectiveness of certain creditor protections. It also reflected the event risk considerations, including asset concentration risk and geopolitical risk and exposure to oil and gas commodity price risk. The credit quality of the bonds, as captured in its ‘A1’ rating, reflects Moody’s assessment of a high likelihood of extraordinary sovereign support, should it become necessary. RL 3 operates in conjunction with its affiliate Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (II) (RL II), (together, RL II-3). RL II-3 engages in the upstream production of natural gas, gas treatment and liquefaction and the export of natural gas in liquid form. RL II-3 has successfully developed five liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction trains, with total nameplate capacity of 29.7mn tonnes of LNG per annum, representing approximately 7.8% of globally traded LNG in 2021. RL II-3 also produces a number of other valuable hydrocarbon byproducts, including condensates and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Moody’s affirmed ‘a3’ BCA for Nakilat, reflecting the critical importance of its vessels to their liquefaction company charterers, high quality net cash flows, underpinned by charter payments that are highly resilient and well-matched to operating costs and debt service costs, financial metrics capable of supporting long tenor project finance debt and generally beneficial project finance structural features. It also reflected certain event risk considerations including exposure to force majeure risks potentially affecting the vessels and exposure to refinancing risk arising from the bullet maturities of certain facilities. Nakilat Inc was formed in April 2006 to be an intermediate special purpose holding company for a portfolio of wholly-owned special purpose companies, with each such company procuring the construction of an LNG carrier, and becoming that vessel’s owner following construction completion. The 25 vessels are contracted under long-term time charter party agreements with LNG liquefaction companies based at Ras Laffan Industrial City in Qatar.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE extends gains to inch near 12,700 levels; M-cap adds QR1.98bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange Wednesday gained another 30 points and its key index inched near 12,700 levels, mainly on the back of buying interests in the telecom and insurance sectors. The local retail investors were seen net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.24% to 12,663.89 points, recovering from an intraday low of 12,586 points. The Arab individuals were increasingly net buyers in the market, whose year-to-date gains improved further to 8.93%. The Gulf retail investors turned bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR1.98bn or 0.28% increase to QR706.6bn, mainly on the back of small and midcap segments. The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.15mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.49mn changed hands across 10 deals. Trade turnover volumes were seen declining in the main market, while the junior bourse saw increased trade turnover and volumes. The foreign funds continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The foreign individuals turned net profit takers in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index grew 0.24% to 25,939.75 points, the All Share Index by 0.26% to 4,035.34 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.29% to 2,793.48 points. The telecom sector index shot up 1.04%, insurance (0.75%), consumer goods and services (0.58%), transport (0.39%) and banks and financial services (0.36%); while real estate declined 0.76% and industrials (0.19%). Major gainers in the main market included QLM, Qatar Oman Investment, QIIB, Al Khaleej Takaful, Inma Holding, Woqod, Qatari Investors Group, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Mazaya Qatar, Ooredoo, Gulf Warehousing and Milaha. In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares appreciate in value. Nevertheless, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Baladna, Qatari German Medical Devices, United Development Company and Commercial Bank were among the losers in the main market. The local retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR6.13mn compared with net sellers of QR3.59mn on November 8. The Arab retail investors’ net buying increased perceptibly to QR2.15mn against QR0.69mn the previous day. The Gulf individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR1.31mn compared with net sellers of QR1.87mn on Tuesday. The domestic institutions’ net profit booking weakened markedly to QR43.16mn against QR52.55mn on November 8. The Gulf institutions’ net selling decreased perceptibly to QR18.52mn compared to QR21.06mn the previous day. However, the foreign individuals turned net profit takers to the extent of QR1.91mn against net buyers of QR1.11mn on Tuesday. The foreign institutions’ net buying decreased substantially to QR54mn compared to QR77.27mn on November 8. The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the second straight session. Total trade volume in the main market declined 32% to 105.03mn shares, value by 24% to QR426.92mn and deals by 19% to 15,743. The venture market saw trade volumes more than double to 0.09mn equities and value double to QR0.68mn on 38% jump in transactions to 40.

Qatar's construction sector presented a rosy picture in October, explained by a robust double-digit year-on-year rise in building permits issued, according to PSA data.
Business
Strong annual growth in building permits issued in October: PSA

Qatar's construction sector presented a rosy picture this October, explained by a robust double-digit year-on-year rise in the building permits issued, according to the official data. The total building permits issued saw a 41.9% growth on an annualised basis with those issued in Doha having more than doubled in the review period, said the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA). A total of 972 building permits were issued in October this year with Al Rayyan, Doha and Al Wakra constituting more than 70% of the total. Total building permits issued in Doha saw a huge 125.2% surge on a yearly basis, followed by Al Rayyan (56.2%), Al Daayen (36.6%), Al Wakra (14.9%), Al Shamal (12.5%) and Umm Slal (5%); even as Al Khor reported 12.5% decline and Al Shahaniya (8.3%). The building permits data is of particular importance as it is considered an indicator for the performance of the construction sector which in turn occupies a significant position in the national economy. Of the total number of new building permits issued, Al Rayyan constituted 264 permits or 27% of the total, Doha 232 (24%), Al Wakra 185 (19%), Al Daayen 153 (16%), Umm Slal 63 (6%), Al Khor 35 (4%), Al Shahaniya 22 (2%) and Al Shamal 18 (2%). On a monthly basis, the total building permits in the country issued saw a 10% increase with Al Daayen witnessing 32% jump, Umm Slal (24%), Al Wakra and Al Shamal (13% each), Al Shahaniya (10%), Al Rayyan (6%) and Doha (2%); whereas Al Khor registered a 13% contraction. The new building permits (residential and non-residential) constituted 37% (355 permits) of the total issued in October 2022, additions 61% (595 permits) and fencing 2% (22 permits). Of the new residential buildings permits, villas topped the list, accounting for 91% (252 permits) of the total, dwellings of housing loans 4% (11) and apartments 4% (10). Among the non-residential sector, commercial structures accounted for 58% or 45 permits, the industrial buildings as workshops and factories 23% (18 permits) and governmental buildings 8% (six permits). Qatar saw a strong 50.1% year-on-year expansion in the total building completion certificates issued in October 2022 with Al Shahaniya witnessing 127.3%, Umm Slal (105.6%), Al Wakra (74.6%), Al Daayen (71.4%), Al Khor (55.6%), Al Shamal (50%), Al Rayyan (26.7%) and Doha (13%). The country saw a total of 515 building completion certificates issued in October 2022, of which 421 or 82% was for the new buildings (residential and non-residential) and 94 or 18% for additions. Of the total number of new building completion certificates issued in the review period, Al Wakra constituted 24% or 124 certificates, Al Rayyan 22% or 114, Al Daayen 21% or 108, Doha 17% or 87, Umm Slal 7% or 37, Al Shahaniya 5% or 25, Al Khor 3% or 14 and Al Shamal 2% or six certificates. Of the 314 residential buildings completion certificates issued, as many as 250 or 83% were for villas and 39 or 12% for apartments. Of the 250 villas completion certificates issued this October, as many as 72 were in Al Rayyan, 56 in Al Daayen, 53 in Al Wakra, 27 in Umm Slal, 21 in Doha, eight each in Al Khor and Shahaniya and five in Al Shamal. In the case of 39 apartments, Doha issued 21 certificates, Al Rayyan 12, Al Daayen five and Al Khor one.

Accommodation options in Qatar include two cruise ships with more than 4,000 cabins. Pictured is cruise ship 'MSC Opera' that is to offer 1,075 passenger cabins for visitors to Doha from November 19 to December 19
Business
World Cup to give near-term boost to GCC economies: S&P

The World Cup will give an additional near-term boost to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) economies, according to Standard & Poor's (S&P), a global credit rating agency. The rating agency said more than 1.2mn fans are expected to attend the event, increasing Qatar's population by about 1.5 times. "This paves the way for Qatar to enjoy potential near-term economic gains but also highlights the logistical challenges of managing the event, which will likely lead to positive spillover effects for the rest of the region," it said. Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy is confident there will be no shortfalls in accommodation, with up to 130,000 rooms for the one-million-plus fans expected during the 28-day event. Accommodation options in Qatar include two cruise ships with more than 4,000 cabins, and fan villages at four different locations. People can also stay in apartments, villas, holiday homes, Bedouin tents, and caravan villages. "We expect that the neighbouring GCC countries will also host large numbers, benefiting their aviation and tourism sectors," the report said. The GCC's official accommodation portal prioritises ticket holders. Visitors arriving in Qatar without match tickets could struggle to find a room and instead opt to stay in a neighbouring country. Although spillover effects are expected across the region, S&P expects Dubai to be the main beneficiary outside of Qatar, given its geographical proximity and its already well-established tourism offering, major attractions, airline connections with the region and the world, and multiple-entry tourist visas for World Cup ticket holders. "We expect occupancy to remain high in the second half of 2022 and particularly during the World Cup when we expect Dubai's hotels to be close to full capacity. This will see room prices climb further still, even if only for a few weeks," the report said. This is despite the supply of rooms having increased recently amid new hotel openings, it said, expecting a 10% increase by end-2022 from about 140,000 rooms at end-2021. With Dubai's higher hotel capacity, S&P expects football fans to take full advantage, supported by daily shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha, less than an hour away. The absence of any pandemic-related restrictions, including no requirement for PCR tests (from most destinations), further simplifies travelling to and from Dubai, it said.

Qatar's hospitality, residential real estate, retail, and telecoms sectors are set to reap tangible benefits from the World Cup, which begins in two weeks, according to Standard & Poor's, a global credit rating agency. PICTURE: AFP/FIFA
Business
Qatar's hospitality, realty, retail and telecom to reap tangible benefits from World Cup

Qatar's hospitality, residential real estate, retail, and telecoms sectors are set to reap tangible benefits from the World Cup, which begins in two weeks, according to Standard & Poor's, a global credit rating agency. The country reportedly had about 30,000 rooms at the end of 2021 but expects to see a more than 30% increase in 2022 as many new hotel openings have been fast-tracked for the World Cup, S&P said in a report. Highlighting that the authorities had blocked about 80% of existing rooms for teams, sponsors, and VIPs; it said having met that demand, they have only just begun releasing several thousand unallocated rooms. "We expect the event to further lift average daily room rates, which had already started to recover in 2021, and lead to close to full occupancy during the event," it said. In the longer run, though, the rating agency views that the new additions will weigh on occupancy and room rates. On real estate sector, S&P said positive effects will come mainly from higher rental and occupancy rates. At the end of 2021, rents had already started picking up but sales prices have hardly improved. Rental revisions are notable but vary depending on property type, it said. However, after the World Cup ends, the inventory build-up will lead to a correction in rental rates that will gradually affect 2023 results as leases are renewed, S&P said. "Economic pressures, including higher interest rates, will soften demand by end-2022, sustaining pressure on rents and sales prices in 2023," the report said. S&P also expects mortgage transactions to slow as the Qatar Central Bank follows the Fed's rate hikes, and its lending rate is now 4.5% following the September 2022 revision (2.5% at the end of 2021), with likely further hikes in 2023. Still, real estate properties in Qatar remain attractive for some investors, as the Qatari riyal is pegged to the US dollar, which provides stability when emerging currencies are depreciating against the dollar, as well as a relative safe haven in the region. About retail sector, S&P said higher international visitors will increase traffic in malls, which have been gradually recovering since the pandemic. "Higher footfall will propel retail sector recovery, thereby temporarily increasing the variable lease component that will benefit mall operators. Still, new projects this year have increased retail space by over 20%, leading to additional capacity that will put pressure on rental rates and occupancy in the longer run," it said. Telecom operators in Qatar (Ooredoo and Vodafone) will also benefit from an influx of football supporters. Operators have incurred some additional costs as they get ready to welcome up to 1.5mn visitors, but "we expect those to be offset by higher seasonal profits as roaming revenues increase along with data consumption", the report said. Ooredoo, which has been selected as the official global connectivity services provider for the event, is expected to capture the lion's share of growth. This will be limited given the scale of domestic operations, with Qatar contributing 34% of its overall consolidated revenues and 42% of Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) as of June 2022. "We expect Ooredoo to report an increase in pre-paid customers in its fourth quarter, as well as higher roaming and data revenue," S&P said, adding it would also benefit from higher video feeds and data transport for the media broadcasters that will be relaying the event globally. "World-leading fibre and 5G penetration in Qatar will enable Ooredoo to address higher demand, in our view," it added.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE scales 12,600 levels; Islamic equities outperform

The Qatar Stock Exchange Tuesday witnessed more than 67% of the traded constituents gained, thus helping the key barometer surpass the 12,600 levels. The telecom, real estate and transport saw higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index jump 0.5% to 12,638.03 points, recovering from an intraday low of 12,455 points. The foreign and Arab individuals turned net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the market, whose year-to-date gains improved to 8.66%. The local retail investors’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR3.09bn or 0.44% increase to QR704.62bn, mainly on the back of microcap segments. The Islamic index was seen gaining faster than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.01mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.1mn changed hands across six deals. Trade turnover volumes were seen expanding in the main market, while the junior bourse saw declining trade turnover and volumes. The foreign funds continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The Gulf institutions were seen increasingly into net profit booking in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index grew 0.5% to 25,876.54 points, the All Share Index by 0.39% to 4,025.04 points and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.98% to 2,785.49 points. The telecom sector index shot up 2.79%, real estate (1.07%), transport (0.91%), consumer goods and services (0.78%) and industrials (0.68%); while insurance declined 0.13% and banks and financial services 0.01%. Major gainers in the main market included Mannai Corporation, Medicare Group, Al Khaleej Takaful, Ooredoo, Baladna, Qatar Electricity and Water, Qamco, Estithmar Holding, Mazaya Qatar, Barwa, Vodafone Qatar and Nakilat. In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares appreciate in value. Nevertheless, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Widam Food, Aamal Company, Al Meera and QIIB were among the losers in the main market. The foreign individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.11mn compared with net sellers of QR10.49mn on November 7. The Arab retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.69mn against net sellers of QR4mn the previous day. The local retail investors’ net selling declined substantially to QR3.59mn compared to QR26.85mn on Monday. The domestic institutions’ net profit booking weakened perceptibly to QR52.55mn against QR56.45mn on November 7. The Gulf individuals’ net selling shrank significantly to QR1.87mn compared to QR3.64mn the previous day. The Gulf institutions’ net selling expanded considerably to QR21.06mn against QR1.8mn on Monday. The foreign institutions’ net buying decreased noticeably to QR77.27mn compared to QR103.63mn on November 7. The Arab institutions had no major net exposure against net sellers to the tune of QR0.42mn the previous day. Total trade volume in the main market zoomed 33% to 154.74mn shares and value by 17% to QR559.74mn, whereas deals were down 4% to 19,366. The venture market saw a 50% plunge in trade volumes to 0.04mn equities, 32% in value to QR0.34mn and 37% in transactions to 29.

Gulf Times
Business
Moody's upgrades outlook on QatarEnergy, IQ and Kahramaa to 'positive'

Global credit rating agency Moody's Monday affirmed the ratings of QatarEnergy, Industries Qatar (IQ) and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) and upgraded their outlook to "positive" from "stable". The rating action on the government-related institutions is a direct consequence of the recent rating action on Qatar where the 'Aa3' government bond rating was affirmed, and the outlook was upgraded to "positive" from "stable". As one of the world's leading gas exporters, Qatar's national oil and gas company, QatarEnergy, is positioned at the centre of the country's economic, social and political framework. QatarEnergy's 'Aa3' long-term issuer rating reflects the combination of hydrocarbon major’s Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA), a measure of its standalone credit profile, of 'aa3'; the government's 'Aa3' sovereign rating with a "positive" outlook; very high dependence on; and very high support from the Qatari government. QatarEnergy's BCA is supported by the significant scale of Qatar's proved gas reserves; its strong LNG (liquefied natural gas) franchise which had a global market share of more than 20% (for Qatar's LNG exports) in 2021; the low-cost nature of its operations as well as strong operating efficiency; and very strong financial and liquidity profiles with a track record of maintaining strong metrics over time. IQ's 'A1' long-term issuer rating reflects its BCA of 'baa1' and a three-notch uplift, based on the assumption of very high dependence on and high support from the government. The BCA is underpinned by IQ's strong competitive position as a low-cost producer; a very strong financial profile, with debt-to-Ebitda (earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortisation) below 1.0x through the cycle; and a high degree of integration and coordination between IQ and QatarEnergy, notably through board representation, shared management and QatarEnergy's control over key IQ group financial policies, as well as financial and investment decisions at the operating company level. Long-term feedstock agreements with QatarEnergy, which give IQ a high degree of resilience to various down cycles in the sector in which it operates, substantially mitigate IQ's exposure to hydrocarbon price risk. Moody's said Kahramaa's 'A1' long-term issuer rating reflects the standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by a BCA of 'baa1', and a very high level of dependence and sovereign support. Kahramaa's standalone assessment is supported by a low risk profile of its power and water transmission and distribution activities; its monopoly position in Qatar; a system of government subsidies based on the recovery of costs and a fair profit margin; and a conservative financial profile, characterised by low leverage.

Gulf Times
Business
Foreign funds’ buying interests lift QSE 163 points; M-cap adds QR8bn

The foreign institutions' net buying interests Monday lifted the Qatar Stock Exchange as much as 163 points and capitalisation added in excess of QR8bn. Reflecting Qatar’s sovereign credit upgrade by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, the 20-stock Qatar Index soared 1.31% to 12,569.8 points, recovering from an intraday low of 12,346 points. The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand in the market, whose year-to-date gains improved to 8.12%. More than 61% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR8.16bn or 1.18% increase to QR701.53bn, mainly on the back of large and midcap segments. The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.11mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.66mn changed hands across 29 deals. Trade turnover volumes were seen expanding in the main market as well as the junior bourse. However, the domestic funds were increasingly net sellers in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The local retail investors were also increasingly net profit takers in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index grew 1.31% to 25,746.59 points, All Share Index by 1.21% to 4,009.28 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.27% to 2,758.36 points. The telecom sector index shot up 1.7%, banks and financial services (1.48%), industrials (1.3%), consumer goods and services (0.7%), real estate (0.55%) and transport (0.2%); while insurance declined 0.75%. Major gainers in the main market included Baladna, Qatar Islamic Bank, Lesha Bank, QIIB, Qatar Electricity and Water, QNB, Commercial Bank, Alijarah Holding, Industries Qatar, Ooredoo and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding. Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Dlala, Estithmar Holding, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing, Qatari German Medical Devices and Gulf Warehousing were among the losers in the main market, In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares depreciate in value. The foreign institutions’ net buying increased substantially to QR103.63mn compared to QR43.05mn on November 6. The foreign individuals’ net selling declined noticeably to QR10.49mn against QR20.65mn the previous day. However, the domestic institutions’ net profit booking strengthened significantly to QR56.45mn compared to QR24.26mn on Sunday. The local retail investors’ net selling expanded markedly to QR26.85mn against QR4.08mn on November 6. The Arab retail investors were net sellers to the tune of QR4mn compared with net buyers of QR8.69mn the previous day. The Gulf individuals’ net profit booking strengthened marginally to QR3.64mn against QR3.08mn on Sunday. The Gulf institutions turned net sellers to the extent of QR1.8mn compared with net buyers of QR0.07mn on November 6. The Arab institutions were also net sellers to the tune of QR0.42mn against buyers of QR0.15mn the previous day. Total trade volume in the main market zoomed 11% to 115.65mn shares, value by 33% to QR480.28mn and deals by 65% to 20,267. The venture market saw a 33% surge in trade volumes to 0.08mn equities, 28% in value to QR0.5mn and 15% in transactions to 46.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar sees double-digit y-o-y growth in sales of new vehicles in Sept: PSA

Qatar's automobile sector saw a double-digit growth in new registrations on an annualised basis this September, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA). The new vehicle registrations stood at 8,367; which represented a 13.3% increase year-on-year but shrank 5.3% month-on-month this September, said the figures released by the PSA. The registration of new private vehicles stood at 5,331, which posted a 1.7% jump on an annualised basis but declined 12.3% on monthly basis in September 2022. Such vehicles constituted about 64% of the total new vehicles registered in the country in the review period. The registration of new private transport vehicles stood at 1,648, which zoomed 14.9% and 10% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in September this year. Such vehicles constituted about 20% of the total new vehicles in the review period. The registration of new private motorcycles shot up 72.1% on an annualised basis to 604 in September 2022; it was seen declining 31.8% month-on-month. These constituted more than 7% of the total new vehicles in the review period. The registration of new heavy equipment stood at 199, which constituted more than 2% of the total registration this September. Their registrations had seen 23.8% and 8.7% shrinkage on an annualised and monthly basis respectively. The new registration of other non-specified vehicles stood at 502 units, which grew 578.4% and 329.1% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period. They constituted about 6% of the total new vehicles in the country in the review period. The registration of trailers stood at 83 units, which saw a 232% and 112.8% surge year-on-year and month-on-month in the review period. The renewal of registration was reported in 65,784 units, which saw 5.2% growth on a yearly basis but fell 4.1% month-on-month this September. The transfer of ownership was reported in 33,472 vehicles in September 2022, which zoomed 11.6% and 2.9% on yearly and monthly basis respectively. The re-registration of vehicles stood at 124, which reported 61.9% contraction on a yearly basis but grew 27.8% on monthly basis in September 2022. The modified vehicles’ registration stood at 5,369, which saw a 27.3% year-on-year growth but declined 24.5% month-on-month in September this year. The cancelled vehicles stood at 3,209 units, which shot up 62.4% and 12.8% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively in the review period. The number of lost/damaged vehicles stood at 7,789 units, which declined 21.2% and 15% on yearly and monthly basis respectively in September 2022. The number of vehicles meant for exports stood at 1,502 units, which reported 33.2% and 11.6% contraction year-on-year and month-on-month this September. The clearing of vehicle-related processes stood at 125,613 units, which expanded 6.1% on a yearly basis but weakened 4.1% month-on-month in the review period.

QFC Authority chief executive officer Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida.
Business
FIFA World Cup to have favourable economic impact over next 12 months: QFC

The FIFA World Cup, which kicks off here in the next two weeks, is expected to leave a "favourable" economic impact over the next 12 months, according to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). "There are hopes that the sporting event will have a favourable impact on the country over the next 12 months with sentiment improving to a two-year high," QFC Authority chief executive officer Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said after disclosing the findings of the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey. 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. Highlighting that the FIFA World Cup will bring with it a large influx of tourist activity to Qatar, he said sustained increases in output suggest businesses are geared up for a busy four weeks of trading. The latest PMI data found that Doha's non-oil private sector saw moderation at the start of fourth quarter but rate of growth in total economic activity remained marked as firms prepare for an influx of sales in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup. The survey data said expectations were boosted by the fast-approaching World Cup with sentiment at a two-year high in October. Prices data signalled improving profitability with near-record uplift in selling charges alongside only a marginal increase in input costs. The data found new orders eased, while purchasing activity also cooled. Meanwhile, firms trimmed their headcounts to a record degree in an effort to save on costs. "While output continued to expand robustly, firms reported a further softening in new orders. Subsequently, businesses were keen to make efficiency gains where they could and reduced their buying activity during the month. There were also efforts to scale back headcounts which reduced at the quickest rate in the survey's history," said al-Jaida. 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. At 48.4 in October, down from 50.7 in September, the latest PMI pointed to a moderation in non-energy private sector business conditions. The latest result brought an end to 27 successive months of growth. The headline figure was only marginally below the neutral value of 50. The sustained moderation in new orders led non-energy companies in Qatar to scale back on their purchasing activity. The rate of decline was sharp, but softer than the contractions seen during the height of the pandemic. Turning to prices, overall input prices rose for the third month running. A renewed uptick in purchase costs drove the latest increase. "The rate of inflation was only marginal, however, amid a fall in staff costs," the survey said. Firms in turn raised their selling prices sharply, and at the third-quickest rate in the survey's history, behind that seen only in the previous survey period and November 2021. According to panel comments, firms hiked charges to capitalise on greater tourist activity. "Looking ahead, firms were widely upbeat about their output expectations over the year ahead. Firms were hopeful that the FIFA World Cup would have a positive impact on output growth," it said. The latest PMI data on Qatar's financial services sector signalled a further marked improvement during October, with business activity now increasing in each month since July 2021. The rate of output growth was robust and much quicker than the long-run series average. New orders rose again, as has been the case since June 2020. The rate of growth was the softest for 15 months, however.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Ratings upgrade lift QSE sentiments as index rises

Reflecting the country’s ratings upgrade by international credit rating agencies as Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, the Qatar Stock Exchange Sunday saw its key barometer gain more than 100 points and capitalisation add in excess of QR6bn. An across the board buying, particularly in the banking sector, led the 20-stock Qatar Index expand 0.82% to 12,406.69 points, although it touched an intraday high of 12,558 points. The foreign funds were increasingly net buyers and the Arab individuals were seen bullish in the market, whose year-to-date gains improved to 6.72%. About 69% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation saw QR6.17bn or 0.9% increase to QR693.37bn, mainly on the back of midcap segments. The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the market, which saw a total of 0.1mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.72mn changed hands across 38 deals. Trade turnover volumes were on the decline in the main market as well as junior bourse. The Arab institutions were net buyers, albeit at lower levels, in the bourse, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The Gulf funds also turned bullish in the main market, which saw no trading of treasury bills. The Total Return Index grew 0.82% to 25,412.92 points, All Share Index by 0.76% to 3,961.26 points and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.69% to 2,723.77 points. The banks and financial services sector index shot up 1.01%, industrials (0.77%), telecom (0.53%), realty (0.33%), insurance (0.17%), consumer goods and services (0.12%) and transport (0.06%). Major gainers in the main market included Alijarah Holding, Qamco, QNB, Qatar Insurance, Al Meera, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar and Milaha. In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mekdam Holding saw their shares appreciate in value. Nevertheless, QLM, Al Khaleej Takaful, Dlala, Zad Holding, Widam food and Nakilat were among the losers in the main market. The foreign institutions’ net buying increased considerably to QR43.05mn compared to QR15.12mn on November 3. The Arab retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR8.69mn against net sellers of QR2.45mn the previous trading day. The Arab institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR0.15mn compared with no major net exposure last Thursday. The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.07mn against net profit takers of QR5.91mn on November 3. The Gulf individuals’ net selling declined marginally to QR3.08mn compared to QR3.6mn the previous trading day. However, the domestic institutions’ net selling strengthened noticeably to QR24.26mn against QR17.75mn last Thursday. The foreign individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR20.65mn compared with net buyers of QR6.31mn on November 3. The local retail investors turned net profit takers to the extent of QR4.08mn against net buyers of QR8.27mn the previous trading day. Total trade volume in the main market shrank 12% to 104.13mn shares, value by 12% to QR360.03mn and deals by 26% to 12,265. The venture market saw a 67% plunge in trade volumes to 0.06mn equities and 62% in value to QR0.39mn but on doubled transactions to 40.

Gulf Times
Business
Foreign funds lift QSE sentiments; index settles higher

* Foreign funds lift QSE sentiments; index settles higher amid hardening interest rates   The foreign institutions’ strong bullish outlook lifted the sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) this week, which saw the country’s central bank hike the interest rates in response to increase in the US Federal Reserve rates. The telecom and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index settled 0.36% higher this week which saw the QSE-listed companies report a net profit of QR39.41bn in the first nine months of this year. The Arab institutions were net buyers, albeit at lower levels, this week which saw Qatar’s maritime sector display robust performance with an 11% year-on-year increase in ship calls in October 2022. The Gulf institutions’ substantially weakened net selling pressure had its influence in the market this week which saw Qatar’s producers’ price index 44.18% year-on-year this September. The foreign individuals continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity this week which saw Oxford Economics view that the FIFA World Cup, hosted by Qatar, seen benefiting the wider Gulf Co-operation Council region. The Islamic index was seen declining vis-à-vis gains in the other indices this week which saw the US-based Institute of International Finance view that the Gulf economies are in strong footing and that the regional equities outperformed the developed and emerging markets. The foreign individuals were seen net buyers but with lesser vigour this week which saw a total of 0.59mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange traded fund QATR worth QR1.59mn trade across 34 deals. Trade turnover and volumes grew in the main market; while the venture market saw higher value amidst flat volumes this week, which saw as many as 0.17mn Doha Bank-sponsored QETF valued at QR2.07mn change hands across 114. Market capitalisation was seen gaining QR0.95n or 0.14% to QR687.2bn on the back of microcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banking sectors together constitute more than three-fourth of the total trade volume in the main market. The Total Return Index rose 0.36% and All Share Index by 0.52%, while All Islamic Index fell 0.38% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds. The telecom sector shot up 3.83%, banks and financial services (1.4%) and consumer goods and services (0.26%); while industrials declined 1.29%, transport (1.27%), real estate (0.53%) and insurance (0.47%) this week, which saw no trading of treasury bills. Major gainers in the main market included QIIB, Ooredoo, Baladna, Mannai Corporation, Doha Insurance, QNB, Commercial Bank, Woqod, Qatar Electricity and Water, Qatar Islamic Insurance, United Development Company and Nakilat. In the venture market, Mekdam Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week. Nevertheless, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Dlala, Aamal Company, Estithmar Holding, Ezdan, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Qamco and Mazaya Qatar were among the losers in the main market. In the juniour bourse, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week. The foreign funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR330.04mn against net sellers of QR8.5mn the week ended October 27. The Arab institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR0.18mn compared with net sellers of QR3.1mn a week ago. The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking declined significantly to QR8.09mn against QR99.49mn the previous week. However, the domestic funds’ net selling grew substantially to QR145.65mn compared to QR100.66mn the week ended October 27. The local retail investors turned net sellers to the extent of QR101.5mn against net buyers of QR152.81mn a week ago. The Gulf individuals were net sellers to the tune of QR78.83mn compared with net buyers of QR0.42mn the previous week. The Arab individuals turned net profit takers to the extent of QR9.19mn against net buyers of QR25.87mn the week ended October 27. The foreign individuals’ net buying weakened noticeably to QR13.04mn compared to QR9.16mn a week ago. Total trade volume in the main market rose 37% to 991.28mn shares and value by 9% to QR2.73bn, whereas deals were down 5% to 85,091. Although the venture market saw flattened trade volumes at 0.73mn equities, there was a 55% jump in value to QR5.15mn and 67% in transactions to 351.