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Saturday, April 20, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal
Santhosh V. Perumal, a postgraduate in Econometrics with an advance qualification in Capital Markets and Financial Services, is Gulf Times' journalist. His coverage areas are debt and equity, hydrocarbons, international trade, environment, banks, insurance and real estate. Previously, he was in New Delhi, India as Senior Finance Correspondent of PTI.
HE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, along with other dignitaries at the launch of third financial sector strategy. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Financial sector's contribution to be raised to QR84bn in GDP by 2030

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) on Monday unveiled the third financial sector strategy (TFSS), as part of efforts to enhance the sector's contribution to QR84bn in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 and transform the country into an innovation hub and global centre for cutting-edge financial services.The strategy, built upon four pillars and supported by five cross-cutting themes, was launched by HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani in the presence of Minister of Commerce and Industry HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, QCB governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani, Qatar Stock Exchange acting chief executive officer Abdulaziz Nasser al-Emadi, and other dignitaries including top officials of banks, insurance companies and other financial entities.The strategy "aims at innovation and diversification to enhance our country’s position as an advanced global center in the field of financial services. This plan is an extension of the first and second strategies, which are considered a roadmap for achieving a sound and flexible financial system that supports sustainable economic growth," the premier said in his social media handle X.The four pillars are banking, insurance, digital finance ecosystem and capital markets. The five cross-cutting themes are governance and regulatory oversight, Islamic finance, digital innovation and advanced technologies, ESG (environment, social and governance) sustainability, and talent and capabilities."The TFSS will not be mere ink on paper, but rather a reflection of aspirations for strong growth in the coming years. It is expected to drive strong growth in the coming years with a projected 4.7% compound annual growth rate for the financial sector and targeted overall contribution of QR84bn to the GDP by 2030," Sheikh Bandar said.The strategy would not only support the economy and financial institutions but also promote the financial sector through innovation and efficiency and provide appropriate solutions, which safeguard stakeholders' interests and help promote growth, he added.The QCB seeks to diversify and innovate in the financial sector in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 with the new strategy aiming to enhance Qatar’s attractiveness for foreign direct investment and attract talents, which contributes to knowledge-based economy.The QCB governor categorically said it would "spare no effort" during the coming period to develop the infrastructure, including the regulatory and legislative frameworks for the financial markets in the country to create an attractive environment for local and international investments.Sheikh Bandar said through the new strategy, it aims to spread the culture of insurance in the society in order for this sector to be a pioneer in the region."We believe in the importance of digital finance ecosystem in supporting the development process. As a result, we have adopted this ecosystem as a third pillar within our strategy to lead the digital financial transformation" for the sector to be a pioneer in the adoption of modern technologies, according to him."We will promote Islamic finance to transform Doha into a destination for Islamic financial services to achieve the growth of this promising sector," he said.Terming the strategy as a new chapter in the process of development of the economy, al-Emadi said it not only showed the clear vision and commitment in enhancing the financial services but also boost economic growth and increase competitiveness.The bourse has laid solid infrastructure and taken several measures to improve liquidity in the system as it aims to enhance the investment universe, including the launch of derivatives in the future, he said.

The bearish sentiments continued for the third consecutive day as the 20-stock Qatar Index closed 0.71% lower at 10,136.5 points yesterday.
Business
Foreign funds’ selling pressure drags QSE 72 points; M-cap melts QR4bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Sunday opened the week on a weaker note with its key index losing 72 points on an across the board selling, especially in the industrials sector.The bearish sentiments continued for the third consecutive day as the 20-stock Qatar Index closed 0.71% lower at 10,136.5 points.The foreign institutions turned net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 5.1%.About 61% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation melted QR3.55bn or 0.6% to QR591.48bn with midcap segments losing the most.The Gulf individuals were seen net sellers in the main market, which touched an intraday high of 10,218 points.The domestic institutions’ weakened net buying had its influence on the main bourse, which saw as many as 0.14mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.32mn trade across 28 deals.The Arab institutions were seen bearish, albeit at lower levels, in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen declining faster than the other indices in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shed 0.71%, the All Islamic Index by 0.79% and the All Share Index by 0.62% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover shrank amidst higher volumes.The industrials sector index declined 1.05%, banks and financial services (0.56%), consumer goods and services (0.47%), transport (0.46%), telecom (0.37%, insurance (0.32%) and realty (0.18%).Major losers in the main market included Doha Insurance, Vodafone Qatar, Milaha, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, Woqod, Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar National Cement and Al Khaleej Takaful.In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mahhar Holding saw their shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Zad Holding, Beema, Aamal Company, Mekdam Holding and Nakilat were among the shakers in the main bourse.The foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR17.89mn compared with net buyers of QR5.46mn on November 23.The Gulf retail investors were net sellers to the extent of QR0.35mn against net buyers of QR0.43mn the previous trading day.The Arab institutions turned net profit takers to the tune of QR0.1mn compared with no major net exposure last Thursday.The domestic institutions’ net selling decreased considerably to QR1.08mn against QR8.33mn on November 23.However, the Gulf funds were net buyers to the extent of QR13.98mn compared with net sellers of QR8.71mn the previous trading day.The foreign individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR2.68mn against net sellers of QR0.54mn last Thursday.The Arab individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR0.54mn compared with net sellers of QR3.72mn on November 23.The local retail investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.05mn against net profit takers of QR1.26mn the previous trading day.Trade volumes in the main market was up less than 1% to 107.67mn shares, while value shrank 8% to QR319.36mn and deals by 21% to 9,924.The venture market witnessed a 30% contraction in trade volumes to 0.21mn equities, 52% in value to QR0.23mn and 49% in transactions to 23.

Qatar has one of the highest institutional and governance scores within the Gulf and wider Middle East and North Africa regions to manage water-related challenges, according to Moody's. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Business
Qatar institution and governance scores 'highest' within GCC, Mena to manage water-related challenges: Moody’s

Qatar has one of the highest institutional and governance scores within the Gulf and wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) regions to manage water-related challenges, even as the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) needs "significant" additional investments for water infrastructure, according to Moody's, a global credit rating agency.In general, sovereigns with stronger institutions and governance frameworks and those with larger fiscal resources (lower debt levels and substantial government financial assets) will be better prepared to mitigate the effects of water stress, manage water scarcity, and adapt to the longer-term impact of climate change and global warming on freshwater availability, Moody's said in its latest report."In our institutional strength and governance scores, the sub-score for quality of legislative and executive institutions in particular is a good proxy for such preparedness, which is highest in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Morocco and lowest in Iraq, Lebanon and Kuwait," the rating agency said.These scores are broadly consistent with readiness for adaptation to the negative impact of climate change as estimated by the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, reflecting a country's ability to leverage investments and convert them to adaptation actions.Moody’s said “significant" additional investments are required for water infrastructure in the Gulf region, where water management risks are mitigated by higher per-capita incomes."In the energy-abundant GCC, risks are mitigated by higher per-capita incomes, implying lower dependence on domestic agricultural output, and the capacity to supplement renewable water resources with energy-intensive seawater desalination," the rating agency said.However, even in the GCC, improving water security will require "significant" additional investments in water infrastructure, it said; adding water-related exposures are largest for sovereigns with lowest per capita incomes.The GCC governments have greater fiscal capacity to support large-scale desalination and water treatment projects; as such, in many of these countries, water for agriculture is increasingly supplied from treated municipal wastewater and from desalinated seawater, which reduces pressure on renewable freshwater resources, it said.By contrast, middle-income Egypt relies almost entirely on withdrawals of external surface water (from the Nile, which flows from Sudan) for direct and agricultural use: its cereal production is almost entirely dependent on irrigation.The smaller size of agricultural sectors, which consume by far the largest share of water resources, is reflected in the significantly higher water productivity in the GCC vis-à-vis the rest of Mena.In response to extreme water stress, the GCC countries became early adopters of desalination and wastewater reuse technologies, and started investing in these water scarcity solutions in the 1980s.As a result, nearly half of the world's desalination capacity is currently based in Mena (48%), with Saudi Arabia (15.5%), the UAE (10.1%) and Kuwait (3.7%) accounting for some of the largest shares.Some GCC countries, including Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE, currently meet more than 40% of their total freshwater demand from desalination.

QCB assistant governor (Financial Instruments and Payment Systems) Sheikh Ahmed bin Khalid al-Thani addressing Qatar Investment Conference, organised by The Business Year. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Business
QCB set to launch instant payment system next year, says assistant governor

The Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) instant payment system is expected to be operational by early next year, according to a top official.“By the beginning of next year, we are hoping to launch our instant payment system,” QCB assistant governor (Financial Instruments and Payment Systems) Sheikh Ahmed bin Khalid al-Thani told Qatar Investment Conference 2023, organised by The Business Year.With this and other digital initiatives, it would bring new era for innovation and transformation of the country’s financial services sector, he said, indicating that the QCB is open to global and regional collaboration with fintechs, venture capitalists and other players as it builds on this system, especially in the light of future digital assets.Qatar is contemplating legal recognition of digital assets as part of efforts to put in place legislation for a tokenisation framework. In this regard, the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority and the QFC Authority have jointly developed the QFC digital assets framework.Finding that the financial institutions in the country are in their cusp of digital transformation; he said “we are seeing interests in blockchain based trade finance and cloud based finance.”“We are attracting startups and other entities in the digital innovation space and we are also transforming our market infrastructure,” Sheikh Ahmed said.Highlighting that digital payment landscape is growing in Qatar; he said Qatar has more than 70,000 POS (point-of-sale) machines and it is growing 40% annually. Transactions through the POS amount to QR8bn a month and those through the ATMs stood at QR3.4bn each month with a growth of 12%, he added.Through its fintech strategy, the central bank is aiming to enhance the economic value addition to the local economy, according to Sheikh Ahmed. The Qatar Fintech Strategy 2023 has set out ambitious targets for 2027, which, among other things, include at least triple the number of licensed fintech companies in the country, increase by 20 to 25 times the number of fintech jobs, generate 40 to 50 times direct economic value add, and improve financial inclusion.The central bank is in the process of developing advanced regulatory rules, especially in the fields of digital banking; crowdfunding; open banking; buy now, pay later (BNPL); wealthtech; electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC); and insurtech, to foster fintech innovation.New rules tackling emerging technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are being introduced.On the international front, Sheikh Ahmed said the World Bank has estimated that more than 15% of the global gross domestic product is through digital economy and that more than 90% of the central banks are exploring the introduction of CBDCs (central bank digital currencies).Addressing one of the panel sessions, Ahmed al-Munayes, managing director, Qatar Tap Payment, said the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), including Qatar, not only has advanced tech environment and young population but also the highest smartphone penetration and high speed Internet, which played crucial role in E-commerce in the region.Finding that the level of technology adoption in Qatar has pervaded to public services as well; he said most of the government services are being moved to digital platform. Terming market size as an issue, specifically for Qatar; Sami Zaitoon, managing partner, Moore Qatar, said the fintech industry should seriously consider catering to the wider region and globally.David Earl Cook, chief executive officer of Sharq Insurance, explained how technology such as artificial intelligence has helped the sector in terms of widening the coverage and better claims management.

QTerminals has achieved a milestone with the debut of quad operations mode and remote operations at Hamad Port, indicating the country's growing prowess and excellence in the global maritime industry.
Business
QTerminals debuts remote crane operation; highest productivity ever recorded at Hamad Port

QTerminals has achieved a milestone with the debut of quad operations mode and remote operations at Hamad Port, indicating the country's growing prowess and excellence in the global maritime industry.Handling the vessel MSC Maria Elena has set a new standard, by efficiently managing 4,448 transshipment containers, including the loading and unloading of four 20-foot (TEU) containers in a single lift, with a crane intensity of 5.3CI, a crane productivity of 46.32GMPH (gross moves per hour) and a berth productivity of 220.38GMPH, the highest productivity ever recorded at Hamad Port and in remote operations.A 20-foot container measures 5.90m in length, 2.35m in width and 2.39m in height. The door width is 2.34m, while the door height measures 2.28m. The tare weight is 2,300kgs. The payload is the maximum loading capacity, and it is 28,200kgs on a 20-foot container.Crane intensity is an estimation of the number of cranes that a container terminal needs to use to handle a vessel."This achievement highlights QTerminals' commitment to innovation and operational excellence," said its spokesman in its social media handle X.QTerminals, jointly established by Mwani Qatar and Milaha to provide port services to Hamad Port, has been witnessing an increasing trend of handling transshipments in view of the country’s growing trade and its prominence in the regional maritime space.QTerminals recently achieved 3.85mn lost time incident free man-hours and total man-hours worked stood at 3.8mn year-to-date in October.Hamad Port, whose strategic geographical location 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 144 vessels call (excluding military) in October 2023.The container terminals at the Hamad Port have been designed to address the increasing trade volume, enhance ease of doing business and support economic diversification, which is one of the most vital goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

The consumer goods, industrials and insurance sector saw higher than average selling pressure as the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 0.13% this week
Business
Gulf and foreign funds turn net sellers as QSE remains bearish

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), like other regional bourses, awaited clues from the US Federal Reserve on interest rates, as it settled lower this week.The consumer goods, industrials and insurance sector saw higher than average selling pressure as the 20-stock Qatar Index fell 0.13% this week which saw the International Monetary Fund (IMF) find Qatar’s economic growth to “normalise” this year, even as the mid-term outlook remains "favourable" on liquefied natural gas expansion.As much as 71% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main market this week which saw IMF find that the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) maintained price and financial stability as inflation "moderated", while banks remain "healthy".The Gulf institutions were seen net profit takers in the main bourse this week which saw the QSE acting chief executive officer Abdul Aziz Nasser al-Emadi disclose the next stage of its strategy of developing organically, as the country enter new phase of growth with LNG output expansion.The foreign institutions turned bearish in the main market this week which saw the QCB assistant governor (Financial Instruments and Payment Systems) Sheikh Ahmed bin Khalid al-Thani disclose that its instant payment system is expected to be operational by early next year. The local retail investors continued to be net sellers but with lesser intensity in the main bourse this week which saw Petrotec, a subsidiary of Mahhar Holding, enter into an OEM Equipment Refurbishment and Sales Agreement with Seatrax UK.The domestic funds were increasingly net buyers in the main market this week, which saw a total of 0.13mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.29mn trade across 26 deals.The Islamic index was seen making gains vis-à-vis declines in the other indices in the main bourse this week which saw as many as 0.01mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.05mn change hands across eight transactions.Market capitalisation was seen melting QR2.56bn or 0.43% to QR595.03bn on the back of microcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banks together constitute more than 59% of the total trade volume in the main market.Trade volumes and turnover were on the decline both in the main bourse and venture market this week, which saw Naufar, a leading healthcare institution in Qatar, enter into a strategic collaboration with Meeza as part of efforts to revolutionize its digital capabilities.The Total Return Index was down 0.13% and the All Share Index by 0.21%, while the All Islamic Index grew 0.16% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The consumer goods and services sector index tanked 1.27%, industrials (0.71%), insurance (0.5%) and banks and financial services (0.08%); while telecom and transport gained 1.73% and 1.42% respectively this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major losers in the main market included Lesha Bank, Ezdan, Nakilat, Zad Holding, QLM, Baladna, Salam International Investment, Medicare Group, Dlala, Mekdam Holding, Meeza, Gulf International Services, Estithmar Holding, Aamal Company, United Development Company and Mazaya Qatar. In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mahhar Holding saw their shares depreciate in value this week, which saw QNB Financial Services announce liquidity provision for Masraf Al Rayan.Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Milaha, Qatar National Cement, Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo were among the gainers in the main market this week which saw QNB Financial Services announce liquidity provision for QATR.The Gulf funds were net sellers to the tune of QR23.87mn compared with net buyers of QR19.48mn the week ended November 16.The foreign institutions turned net sellers to the extent of QR5.95mn against net buyers of QR48.72mn the previous week.However, the domestic institutions’ net buying increased drastically to QR34.64mn compared to QR9.95mn a week ago.The Arab individuals’ net buying strengthened noticeably to QR8.38mn against QR1.12mn the week ended November 16.The foreign retail investors were net buyers to the tune of QR1.62mn compared with net sellers of QR0.44mn the previous week.The Gulf individual investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR0.98mn against net sellers of QR1.61mn a week ago.The local retail investors’ net profit booking weakened substantially to QR34.64mn compared to QR77.23mn the week ended November 16.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the third continuous week.The main market witnessed a 35% contraction in trade volumes to 665.72mn shares, 23% in value to QR2.04bn and 18% in deals to 73,663 this week.In the venture market, trade volumes plummeted 56% to 2.22mn equities, value by 50% to QR3.49mn and transactions by 41% to 294.

A view of the Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar's principal site for the production of liquefied natural gas and gas-to-liquids. The mining and quarrying index, which has a relative weight of 82.46%, zoomed 1.9% on a yearly basis on a 1.9% jump in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas, even as other mining and quarrying sectors reported 2.8% decline.
Business
Qatar industrial productions gains traction year-on-year in September: PSA

Higher extraction of hydrocarbons and a robust increase in the production of basic metals and beverages led Qatar's industrial production index (IPI) to jump 1.6% year-on-year in September 2023, according to official statistics.The country's IPI fell 1.1% on a monthly basis in the review period, according to 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%, zoomed 1.9% on a yearly basis on a 1.9% jump in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas, even as other mining and quarrying sectors reported 2.8% decline.On a monthly basis, the sector index was seen falling 0.7% owing to a 0.7% contraction in the extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas, and 2% in other mining and quarrying sectors in the review period.The manufacturing index, with a relative weight of 15.85%, fell 0.8% year-on-year this September as there was a 9.1% plunge in printing and reproduction of recorded media, 8.1% in the production of refined petroleum products, 5.9% in cement and other non-metallic mineral products, 4.9% in rubber and plastics products, 3.7% in food products and 0.5% in chemicals and chemical products.Nevertheless, there was an 11.7% increase in the production of basic metals and 6.8% in beverages in the review period.On a monthly basis, the manufacturing index declined 3% in September 2023 owing to a 4.6% decrease in the production of basic metals, 3.5% in rubber and plastics products, 3.2% in chemicals and chemical products, 1.7% in cement and other non-metallic mineral products, and 1.3% in refined petroleum products.However, there was a 1.1% expansion in the production of beverages and 0.4% in food products in the review period.Electricity, which has a 1.16% weight in the IPI basket, saw its index surge 8.9% year-on-year but decreased 3.7% month-on-month in September 2023.In the case of water, which has a 0.53% weight, the index was seen declining 0.9% and 3.8% on annual and monthly basis respectively in the review period.

Gulf Times
Business
QSE remains almost flat despite profit booking pressure

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Wednesday witnessed a rollercoaster ride with it finally settling almost flat despite buying interests in five of the seven sectors..text-box { float:left; width:250px; padding:1px; border:1pt white; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px;}@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 30%;}}**media[103804]**The foreign institutions were seen increasingly net sellers as the 20-stock Qatar Index was down mere 0.03% to 10,222.9 points, as investors were cautious ahead of the meeting of Opec+.The Gulf institutions turned net profit takers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 4.29%.The banking and consumer goods sectors witnessed higher than average selling pressure had its influence in the main bourse, whose capitalisation, nevertheless, was up QR0.07bn or 0.01% to QR595.66bn with microcap segments gaining the most.The Arab individuals’ weakened net buying had its say in the main market, which regained from an intraday low of 10,189 points.The foreign retail investors lower net buying had its influence in the main bourse, which saw as many as 6,850 exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan) valued at QR0.02mn trade across one deal.However, the local retail investors were increasingly net buyers in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The Islamic index was seen gaining vis-à-vis decline in the main barometer in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index was down 0.03%, while All Islamic Index was up 0.03%. The All Share Index was unchanged in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The banks and financial services sector index declined 0.32% and consumer goods and services 0.21%; while insurance gained 0.84%, industrials (0.45%), real estate (0.44%), telecom (0.41%) and transport (0.27%).Major losers in the main market included Meeza, Baladna, QIIB, Estithmar Holding, Al Khaleej Takaful and Lesha Bank.Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Qatari German Medical Devices, Qatar National Cement, Salam International Investment, Qatari Investors Group, Industries Qatar, Barwa, Qatar Electricity and Water, Mazaya Qatar, Ooredoo and Nakilat were among the gainers in the main market. In the junior bourse, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mahhar Holding saw their shares appreciate in value.The domestic institutions’ net selling increased considerably to QR9.88mn compared to QR0.43mn on November 21.The Gulf institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR1.27mn against net buyers of QR1.24mn the previous day.The Arab individuals’ net buying declined substantially to QR1.41mn compared to QR6.21mn on Tuesday.The foreign individual investors’ net buying eased noticeably to QR0.11mn against QR5.14mn on November 21.The Gulf retail investors’ net buying fell marginally to QR0.01mn compared to QR0.75mn the previous day.However, the local retail investors’ net buying strengthened substantially to QR8.29mn against QR1.38mn on Tuesday.The foreign institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR1.33mn compared with net sellers of QR14.29mn on November 21.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the 14th consecutive session.Trade volumes in the main market fell 16% to 112.4mn shares, value by 22% to QR351.02mn and deals by 19% to 13,432.The venture market witnessed a 56% contraction in trade volumes to 0.24mn equities, 57% in value to QR0.37mn and 41% in transactions to 40.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Qatar’s mid-term outlook favourable; NDS3 to accelerate economic transition: IMF

Qatar’s economic growth has normalised in 2023, following the World Cup-driven boom, even as the mid-term outlook remains "favourable" on liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).In its Article IV consultation report on Qatar, the Bretton Woods institution also said the upcoming third national development strategy (NDS3) provides an opportunity to accelerate economic transformation towards a knowledge-based and inclusive economy supported by private-sector led growth."Output is expected to expand by about 1.75% per annum during 2023–25 with the non-hydrocarbon sector growing at 2.75%, driven by domestic demand, including from the construction of the North Field expansion project, and robust tourism, boosted by the global visibility brought by the 2022 FIFA World Cup," said Ran Bi, who led the IMF team.Continued normalisation is expected in the near term, with a favorable medium-term outlook supported by the LNG production expansion and intensifying reform efforts, the report said.Broad fiscal discipline, amid hydrocarbon windfalls in 2022-23, resulted in sizeable surpluses and rapid central government debt reduction, which “significantly” strengthened the country’s fiscal position, Bi said."Continued fiscal prudence is expected under the upcoming 2024 budget," she said, adding the next medium-term budget, covering five years for the first time, is being developed to support the NDS3 initiatives and should balance aspiration for transformation and fiscal prudence.In this regard, the IMF team welcomed the ongoing effort to enhance efficiency, including through the implementation of programme-based budgeting, and to increase transparency.The medium-term priorities include accelerating revenue diversification through further mobilisation of non-hydrocarbon tax revenues, enhancing spending efficiency, and reorienting public investment to facilitate private sector growth, which can be supported by a well-functioning medium-term fiscal framework and greater fiscal transparency, according to her.The fiscal and current accounts are projected to remain in surpluses over the medium term, Bi said, adding risks to the outlook are “broadly balanced”.Stressing that Qatar “is at an important juncture” in shifting its growth model from one that is led by the state to a more dynamic and market-oriented one driven by the private sector, Bi said building on the progress made so far, and guided by upcoming NDS3, reforms should focus on enhancing human capital, labour market dynamism, and business environment."Furthering digitalisation with due attention to potential risks, and strengthening climate resilience and green transition are also key for achieving National Vision 2030," she added.

Reiterating that the QCB’s prudent policies have underpinned financial stability; the IMF said continued diligence is "critical" to maintain banking sector strength in a “higher-for-longer” interest rate environment.
Business
QCB maintains price and financial stability, inflation moderates and banks remain healthy: IMF

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has maintained price and financial stability as inflation "moderated", while banks remain "healthy", according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)."The QCB has maintained price and financial stability. Inflation has moderated following monetary policy tightening in tandem with the US Federal Reserve, consistent with the currency peg to the US dollar," IMF said in its Article IV consultation report on the country.The IMF team, led by Ran Bi, had met with Minister of Finance HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari; QCB Governor HE Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani, other senior government officials, and private sector representatives during the first fortnight of this month.Reiterating that the QCB’s prudent policies have underpinned financial stability; it said continued diligence is "critical" to maintain banking sector strength in a “higher-for-longer” interest rate environment.The QCB has increased the repurchase rate by 500 basis points since the beginning of 2022 to 6% in July 2023. Since January 2022, repo rate has risen from 1% to 1.25% in March, 1.75% in May, 2.5% in June, 3.25% in July, 4% in September, 4.75% in November, 5.25% in December, 5.5% in March, 5.75% in May 2023 and the 6% in July. In 2022, the average repo rate was 2.77%.On the consumer price index inflation, the IMF report said it will “likely moderate to 2%”.According to the latest data of the Planning and Statistics Authority, higher expenses towards communication, recreation and food led Qatar's general inflation to rise 2.52% year-on-year in October 2023.The IMF report said Qatar's banks remain "healthy", although the non-performing loan ratio has edged up as pandemic-related restructured loans have turned non-performing, output growth has normalised after the World Cup, and financial conditions have tightened."Banks’ relatively high provisioning mitigates the risks," it however said.The QCB has refined macro-prudential measures to further reduce risks associated with banks’ external asset-liability mismatches, especially those of short maturities, which is welcome, according to the report."Continued diligence is critical to enhance banking sector resilience, complemented by reforms to further deepen domestic financial markets, as envisaged in the upcoming financial sector strategy," it said.

The Arab individual investors were seen bullish as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.44% to 10,226.44 points yesterday, reflecting the regional sentiments on expectations that the US Federal Reserve is likely to put an end to interest rate hikes.
Business
Qatar bourse scales 10,200 levels as index gains 45 points

The Qatar Stock Exchange Tuesday gained more than 45 points and its key index scaled the 10,200 levels on the back of buying interests, especially in the industrials sector..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[103804]**The Arab individual investors were seen bullish as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.44% to 10,226.44 points, reflecting the regional sentiments on expectations that the US Federal Reserve is likely to put an end to interest rate hikes.The foreign retail investors were seen increasingly net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 4.26%.The Qatari individuals were increasingly into net buying in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR1.22bn or 0.21% to QR595.59bn with small cap segments gaining the most.The Gulf institutions turned bullish in the main market, which regained from an intraday low of 10,164 points and it touched an intraday high of 10,237 points.The Gulf individuals were increasingly net buyers in the main bourse, which saw as many as .09mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.24mn trade across 16 deals.However, the foreign institutions were increasingly net sellers in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the main barometer in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.44%, All Share Index by 0.29% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.42% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover grew amidst lower volumes.The industrials sector index added 0.8%, banks and financial services (0.39%) and transport (0.33%); while insurance tanked 1.27%, real estate (0.81%), telecom (0.46%) and consumer goods and services (0.24%).Major gainers in the main market included QIIB, Milaha, Industries Qatar, Commercial Bank, Medicare Group and Estithmar Holding.Nevertheless, 66% of the traded constituents in the main market were in the red with major shakers being Dlala, QLM, Ooredoo, Qatar Insurance, Nakilat, Qatari German Medical Devices, Doha Insurance, Ezdan, Baladna and Qamco. In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mahhar Holding saw their shares depreciate in value.The Arab individuals were net buyers to the tune of QR6.21mn compared with net sellers of QR6.48mn on November 20.The foreign individual investors’ net buying increased noticeably to QR5.14mn against QR0.04mn the previous day.The local retail investors’ net buying strengthened perceptibly to QR1.38mn compared to QR1.01mn on Monday.The Gulf institutions turned net buyers to the extent of QR1.24mn against net profit takers of QR7.43mn on November 20.The Gulf retail investors’ net buying expanded marginally to QR0.75mn compared to QR0.53mn the previous day.However, the foreign institutions’ net profit booking grew markedly to QR14.29mn against QR13.6mn on Monday.The domestic funds were net sellers to the tune of QR0.43mn compared with net buyers of QR25.93mn on November 20.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the 13th consecutive session.Trade volumes in the main market fell 11% to 133.07mn shares, while value was up 5% to QR450.61mn and deals by 4% to 16,626.The venture market witnessed a 25% contraction in trade volumes to 0.55mn equities, 25% in value to QR0.86mn and 9% in transactions to 68.

Snapping three days of bullish momentum, the Qatar Stock Exchange Monday fell 60 points on selling pressure, notably in the industrials, real estate, consumer goods and banking sectors
Business
Foreign funds turn bearish as QSE key index falls 60 points

Snapping three days of bullish momentum, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Monday fell 60 points on selling pressure, notably in the industrials, real estate, consumer goods and.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[103804]**banking sectors.The foreign institutions were seen net profit takers as the 20-stock Qatar Index shed 0.58% to 10,181.27 points, reflecting the caution seen in the Gulf shores ahead of the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest meeting.The Arab retail investors turned bearish in the main market, whose year-to-date losses widened to 4.68%.About 74% of the traded constituents were in the red in the main bourse, whose capitalisation shed QR4.39bn or 0.73% to QR594.37bn with mid and microcap segments losing the most.However, the domestic institutions were seen increasingly into net selling in the main market, which regained from an intraday low of 10,157 points.The local individuals turned net buyers in the main bourse, which saw as many as 8,765 exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan) valued at QR0.02mn trade across four deals.The Gulf individuals were marginally bullish in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen declining slower than the other indices in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index fell 0.58%, All Share Index by 0.65% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.34% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The industrials sector index tanked 1.14%, realty (0.93%), consumer goods and services (0.87%) and banks and financial services (0.78%); while transport gained 1.34% and insurance 0.02%. The telecom index was rather flat.Major losers in the main market included Industries Qatar, QNB, Qatar Electricity and Water, Medicare Group, Zad Holding, Al Khaleej Takaful, Ezdan, QIIB, Commercial Bank, Widam Food, Mannai Corporation and United Development Company. In the venture market, both Al Faleh Educational Holding and Mahhar Holding saw their shares depreciate in value.Nevertheless, Milaha, Doha Insurance, Meeza, Qatar Insurance and Dlala were among the gainers in the main bourse.The foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR13.6mn compared with net buyers of QR15.15mn on November 19.The Arab individuals were net sellers to the extent of QR6.48mn against net buyers of QR10.96mn on Sunday.However, the domestic funds’ net buying strengthened noticeably to QR25.93mn compared to QR10.67mn the previous day.The local individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR1.01mn against net sellers of QR25.21mn on November 19.The Gulf retail investors were net buyers to the extent of QR0.53mn compared with net sellers of QR0.75mn on Sunday.The foreign individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.04mn against net sellers of QR3.12mn the previous day.The Gulf institutions’ net profit booking weakened marginally to QR7.43mn compared to QR7.71mn on November 19.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the twelfth consecutive session.Trade volumes in the main market fell 9% to 148.92mn shares and value by 7% to QR428.95mn, while deals rose 6% to 15,990.The venture market witnessed an 83% surge in trade volumes to 0.73mn equities, 80% in value to QR1.15mn and 63% in transactions to 75.

The foreign institutions were seen increasingly into net buying as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 20 points or 0.19% to 10,241.17 points Sunday.
Business
Buying support from foreign and domestic funds, Arab individuals lift QSE sentiments

The Qatar Stock Exchange Sunday saw higher than average demand, especially at the banking counter, as its key barometer remained above 10,200 levels..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[103804]**The foreign institutions were seen increasingly into net buying as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 20 points or 0.19% to 10,241.17 points.The domestic funds were also increasingly net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses were minimised to 4.12%.More than 55% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR1.17bn or 0.2% to QR598.76bn with small cap segments gaining the most.The Arab retail investors turned bullish in the main market, which touched an intraday high of 10,293 points.However, the local individuals were increasingly net profit takers in the main bourse, which saw as many as 7,378 exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.02mn trade across five deals.The Gulf institutions turned net sellers in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.The Islamic index was seen gaining slower than the other indices in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.19%, the All Share Index by 0.26% and the Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.04% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the decline.The banks and financial services sector index gained 0.61%, transport (0.23%) and consumer goods and services (0.12%); while real estate declined 0.77%, insurance (0.37%), industrials (0.17%) and telecom (0.02%).Major gainers in the main market included Qatar National Cement, Widam Food, Beema, Mannai Corporation, Doha Bank, Estithmar Holding and Milaha.In the venture market, Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Barwa, Lesha Bank, Ezdan, Industries Qatar and Salam International Investment were among the losers in the main market.The foreign institutions’ net buying increased perceptibly to QR15.15mn compared to QR12.2mn on November 16.The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the tune of QR10.96mn against net sellers of QR4.08mn last Thursday.The domestic funds’ net buying strengthened noticeably to QR10.67mn compared to QR2.05mn the previous trading day.However, the local individual investors’ net selling grew markedly to QR25.21mn against QR16.75mn on November 16.The Gulf institutions were net sellers to the extent of QR7.71mn compared with net buyers of QR6.44mn last Thursday.The foreign retail investors’ net profit booking increased noticeably to QR3.12mn against QR0.2mn the previous trading day.The Gulf individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR0.75mn compared with net buyers of QR0.34mn on November 16.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the eleventh consecutive session.Trade volumes in the main market fell 24% to 163.94mn shares, value by 26 to QR462.54mn and deals by 32% to 15,126.The venture market witnessed a 51% contraction in trade volumes to 0.40mn equities, 50% jump in value to QR0.64mn and 40% in transactions to 46.

Gulf Times
Business
GSAS rating to play key role in Qatar’s major office letting in future: CWQ

The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) rating is expected to play an important role in Qatar's major office lettings in the future as international occupiers are seen increasingly demanding accommodation that meets minimum sustainability targets and energy-efficient buildings, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).Corporations’ responsibility towards climate change and sustainability is increasingly evident in 2023, with international occupiers demanding accommodation that meets minimum sustainability targets, it said in the latest report."The number of options available to global corporations in Qatar is reducing, as many will not consider occupying older buildings that don’t meet energy efficiency standards," the report said.With little demand for older office space, retrofitting has become a hot topic among some of Qatar’s developers and landlords, it highlighted."We expect GSAS ratings to play an important role in any major office lettings in Qatar in the coming years. Ultimately, it may be the shortage of high-specification energy efficient buildings that drives new office construction, despite the availability of older office space," CWQ said.GSAS is the first of its kind performance-based sustainability rating scheme for the construction industry in the Middle East region developed by Gulf Organisation for Research and Development in collaboration with TC Chan Center at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.The primary objective of GSAS is to create a sustainable built environment that minimises ecological impact while addressing the specific regional needs and environment of the region.The report highlighted that the Qatar Free Zone Authority, Qatar Financial Centre and Invest Qatar have been taking strides to boost private sector demand and encourage inward investment; however, significant new office demand from the private sector is only likely to become evident in the medium term.Finding that the availability of office accommodation and the relatively slow take-up has resulted in a fall in construction activity in the commercial office sector in 2023; it said "we expect this trend to continue until a significant portion of existing prime office accommodation is absorbed."The current oversupply of office space in Qatar will continue to be a drag on office rents, moving towards 2024, it said, adding the supply of purpose-built office accommodation in Qatar has now surpassed 5.3mn sq m, with an estimated 1.3–1.5mn sq m of vacant space available.Grade-A stock is now typically available to lease for between QR100 and QR120 per sq m per month, exclusive of service charges. Shell and core office space can be leased from QR65 per sq m in areas such as Lusail and West Bay, while this type of accommodation is available for QR50–60 per sq m per month in some of Doha’s older office districts.

The real estate and industrials counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 2.45% this week which saw Qatar’s consumer price index inflation rise 2.52% year-on-year in October 2023
Business
QSE key index gains 244 points; capitalisation adds QR12bn

Reflecting the optimism in the regional bourses on expectations of an end to rate hikes in the US, Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) saw its key index gain as much as 244 points and capitalisation add more than QR12bn this week.The real estate and industrials counters witnessed higher than average demand as the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 2.45% this week which saw Qatar’s consumer price index inflation rise 2.52% year-on-year in October 2023.As much as 78% of the traded constituents extended gains to investors in the main market this week which saw a Cushman and Wakefield Qatar report that said tourism-related sectors in Qatar to remain ‘bright spot’.The Gulf funds were bullish and domestic institutions were increasingly net buyers in the main bourse this week which saw QNB disclose that it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 16%.The Arab retail investors turned net buyers in the main market this week which saw the International Gas Union (IGU) report that said the Middle East, led by Qatar, will be an important region in the global liquefied natural gas landscape.The foreign individuals’ weakened net selling had its influence in the main bourse this week which saw an Invest Qatar report that said Doha’s cultural and creative industries contribute as much as QR20bn to the local economy during 2021, which is 3% gross domestic product.The foreign institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser intensity in the main market this week, which saw a total of 0.08mn Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange-traded fund QATR worth QR0.17mn trade across 16 deals.The Islamic index outperformed the other indices in the main bourse this week which saw as many as 0.02mn Doha Bank-sponsored exchange-traded fund QETF valued at QR0.18mn change hands across 11 transactions.Market capitalisation was seen expanding QR12.27bn or 2.1% to QR597.59bn on the back of large and midcap segments this week which saw the industrials and banks together constitute more than 59% of the total trade volume in the main market.Trade volumes and turnover were on the decline both in the main bourse and venture market this week.The Total Return Index zoomed 2.45%, the All Share Index by 2.07% and the All Islamic Index by 3.43% this week, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds.The realty sector index soared 4.63%, industrials (2.9%), banks and financial services (2.29%), telecom (2.02%), consumer goods and services (1.33%) and insurance (0.4%); while transport declined 1.6% this week which saw no trading of treasury bills.Major gainers in the main market included Industries Qatar, Ooredoo, Qatar Electricity and Water, Meeza, Vodafone Qatar, Medicare Group, Widam Food, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatari Investors Group, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, Dukhan Bank and Baladna. In the venture market, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares appreciate in value this week.Nevertheless, Doha Insurance, Nakilat, Beema, Milaha, Mannai Corporation, Inma Holding and Nakilat were among the shakers in the main market. In the juniour bourse, Mahhar Holding saw its shares depreciate in value this week.The Gulf funds were net buyers to the tune of QR19.48mn against net profit takers of QR7.52mn the week ended November 9.The domestic institutions’ net buying increased markedly to QR9.95mn compared to QR4.4mn the previous week.The Arab individuals turned net buyers to the extent of QR1.12mn against net sellers of QR8.58mn a week ago.The local retail investors’ net selling fell substantially to QR77.23mn compared to QR102.69mn the week ended November 9.The foreign individuals’ net profit booking weakened noticeably to QR0.44mn against QR11.08mn the previous week.However, the Gulf retail investors’ net selling strengthened perceptibly to QR1.61mn compared to QR0.44mn a week ago.The foreign institutions’ net buying shrank considerably to QR48.72mn against QR125.92mn the week ended November 9.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the second continuous week.The main market witnessed a 23% contraction in trade volumes to 1.02bn shares, 15% in value to QR2.65bn and 11% in deals to 89,539 this week.In the venture market, trade volumes plummeted 26% to 5.07mn equities, value by 26% to QR6.99mn and transactions by 28% to 496.

Gulf Times
Business
Bullish foreign and Gulf institutions lift QSE 162 points; M-cap adds QR10bn

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Wednesday gained 162 points and its key index inched towards 10,200 levels on the back of higher demand, especially in the industrials and.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[102377]**banking equities.The foreign institutions turned bullish as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 1.62% to 10,178.9 points, reflecting the optimism in the regional markets on gaining oil prices, ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting.The Gulf institutions were seen net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated to 4.7%.More than 70% of the traded constituents extended gains in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR9.78bn or 1.67% to QR596.01bn with large cap segments gaining the most.The Arab retail investors turned net buyers in the main market, which regained from an intraday low of 10,115 points.However, the local retail investors were increasingly into net selling in the main bourse, which saw as many as 0.05mn exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.15mn trade across seven deals.The domestic funds turned net profit takers in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.The Islamic index gained slower than the other indices in the main bourse, which witnessed no trading of treasury bills.The Total Return Index shot up 1.62%, All Share Index by 1.48% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 1.32% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover grew amidst lower volumes.The industrials sector index zoomed 2.01%, banks and financial services (1.88%), real estate (1.24%), telecom (1.15%) and consumer goods and services (0.54%); while transport and insurance declined 0.77% and 0.37% respectively.Major gainers in the main market included Industries Qatar, Ooredoo, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar Electricity and Water, Commercial Bank, Ezdan, Medicare Group, Baladna, Meeza, Qatar National Cement, QLM and Gulf Warehousing. In the venture market, Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Zad Holding, Milaha, Lesha Bank, Doha Bank and Qatari Investors Group were among the shakers in the main market. In the junior bourse, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The foreign institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR47.31mn compared with net sellers of QR18.06mn on November 14.The Gulf institutions were net buyers to the extent of QR13.26mn against net profit takers of QR0.7mn the previous day.The Arab individual investors turned net buyers to the tune of QR0.83mn compared with net sellers of QR2.76mn on Tuesday.However, the local individuals’ net selling increased significantly to QR41.86mn against QR8.07mn on November 14.The domestic funds were net sellers to the extent of QR14.79mn compared with net buyers of QR28.96mn the previous day.The foreign retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR4.12mn against net buyers of QR0.32mn on Tuesday.The Gulf individuals were net profit takers to the extent of QR0.63mn compared with net buyers of QR0.32mn on November 14.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the ninth straight session.Trade volumes in the main market fell 3% to 251.43n shares, while value grew 3% to QR656.79mn and deals by 8% to 22,171.The venture market witnessed a 22% jump in trade volumes to 1.35mn equities, 34% jump in value to QR1.95mn and about 1% in transactions at 127.

Banks' external balance sheets have not developed at the same pace across the board, the report said, adding the UAE and Qatar display by far the largest net external balance sheet expansion, which is mostly concentrated on specific banks, with government-backed national champions predominating.
Business
GCC external debt maturity averages $660bn in 2023-25: S&P

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries will have an average of $660bn of gross external debt, both public and private, maturing annually over 2023-25, according to Standard and Poor's (S&P), a global credit rating agency.Although the region's banking systems contribute 70% on average to this external debt rollover, driven by their high stock of contractually short-term external debt (including deposits); S&P said given most systems' strong net external asset positions and solid liquidity profiles, the region's banks have buffers to mitigate a hypothetical sudden stop in external funding or capital outflows."While regulators and individual banks try to lengthen the tenor of these facilities, we expect the GCC banking systems' external liability growth to push combined national rollover requirements to nearly $700bn per year by 2025, with the UAE and Qatar together comprising over half of the total," the rating agency said in a report.The $660bn is equivalent to roughly 40% of estimated combined 2023 current account receipts and usable reserves, compared to $250bn in 2013, which was about 14% (Brent oil prices averaged $108 per barrel that year, compared to an average of close to $82 through 2023 so far), according to S&P.Finding that the GCC banking systems' external liabilities coming due within the year will total $465bn in 2023, more than two-thirds of national requirements; it said "we forecast this will increase toward $500bn by 2025."Notably, banks' external balance sheets have not developed at the same pace across the board, it said, adding the UAE and Qatar display by far the largest net external balance sheet expansion, which is mostly concentrated on specific banks, with government-backed national champions predominating.In Qatar, the build-up of external debt was mainly channelled to finance large domestic projects, the rating agency highlighted.Finding that all systems, apart from Bahrain's retail banking sector, had very "comfortable" coverage, it said the government assets (which include estimates of external sovereign wealth fund assets) account for multiple times the stressed liability outflows.Although regional banking systems are driving up national gross external debt as related rollover risks to banks and sovereigns are expected to naturally increase as a result, it said however, most regional governments have liquid assets well exceeding hypothetical outflows and, if ever required, sovereign resources would be rapidly deployed to reinforce confidence."Additionally, our hypothetical stress test highlights regional banking systems are well positioned to meet these requirements without presenting a direct claim on fiscal resources," the report said.

The domestic institutions turned net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.28% to 10,035.05 points, even as the Gulf bourses evoked mixed response, ahead of this week's US inflation data
Business
Domestic funds turn bullish as QSE gains 28 points; Islamic equities outperform

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Monday gained more than 28 points on the back of buying interests, especially in the banking sector..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[101474]**The domestic institutions turned net buyers as the 20-stock Qatar Index rose 0.28% to 10,035.05 points, even as the Gulf bourses evoked mixed response, ahead of this week's US inflation data.The Gulf individual investors were seen net buyers in the main market, whose year-to-date losses truncated further to 6.05%.The Gulf funds were seen increasingly bullish in the main bourse, whose capitalisation added QR0.69bn or 0.12% to QR587.59bn with microcap segments gaining the most.The Arab retail investors continued to be net buyers but with lesser vigour in the main market, which regained from an intraday low of 10,001 points.The foreign individuals remained bullish but with lesser intensity in the main bourse, which saw as many as 5,650 exchange traded funds (sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank) valued at QR0.01mn trade across two deals.The local retail investors turned net profit takers in the main market, which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.The Total Return Index rose 0.28%, All Share Index by 0.21% and Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) by 0.43% in the main bourse, whose trade turnover and volumes were on the increase.The banks and financial services sector index gained 0.71%, real estate (0.27%) and consumer goods and services (0.15%); while insurance declined 1.1%, industrials (0.51%), transport (0.26%) and telecom (0.07%).Major gainers in the main market included Widam Food, Masraf Al Rayan, Meeza, Dlala, Zad Holding, Salam International Investment and Qamco. In the venture market, Mahhar Holding saw its shares appreciate in value.Nevertheless, Beema, QLM, Qatar Insurance, Lesha Bank, Industries Qatar and Estithmar Holding were among the shakers in the main market. In the juniour bourse, Al Faleh Educational Holding saw its shares depreciate in value.The domestic funds turned net buyers to the tune of QR4.05mn compared with net sellers of QR10.32mn on November 12.The Gulf individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR0.47mn against net profit takers of QR2.11mn the previous day.The Gulf institutions’ net buying increased perceptibly to QR0.45mn compared to QR0.03mn on Sunday.However, the local individuals turned net sellers to the tune of QR10.88mn against net buyers of QR0.33mn on November 12.The Arab individual investors’ net buying declined markedly to QR1.67mn compared to QR5.46mn the previous day.The foreign institutions’ net buying weakened noticeably to QR3mn against QR4.26mn on Sunday.The foreign retail investors’ net buying eased perceptibly to QR1.23mn compared to QR2.34mn on November 12.The Arab institutions had no major net exposure for the seventh straight session.Trade volumes in the main market soared 39% to 170.26n shares, value by 74% to QR468.96mn and deals by 92% to 16,160.The venture market witnessed a 9% jump in trade volumes to 0.94mn equities, 40% jump in value to QR1.34mn and 81% in transactions at 107.