Qatar shares drop 2%, largest single-day loss in 6 months
March 05 2014 09:35 PM

Foreign institutions’ profit-booking led the 20-stock Qatar Index to report the largest single-day loss of 2% in six months to 11,346.58 points and capitalisation to erode by QR17bn. Picture: Noushad Thekkayil

By Santhosh V Perumal/Business Reporter

The surprise withdrawal of ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain from Doha appeared to have triggered a sell-off on the Qatar Exchange, where more than 88% of the traded stocks closed in the red.

Foreign institutions’ profit-booking rather led the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) to report the largest single-day loss of 2% in six months to 11,346.58 points and capitalisation erode by QR17bn.

Selling pressure was severe at the telecom, transport, banking and real estate counters in the market, which is however up 9.31% year-to-date.

Qatar’s cabinet yesterday expressed “regret and surprise” at the decision of “the sisterly countries” to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha, QNA reported. The step “has nothing to do with the interests, security and stability of GCC people, but rather a difference in positions on issues out of the Co-operation council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC),” the cabinet said in a statement.

Analysts contacted by Gulf Times said regional issues have had their impact in the market, which has been on the decline for the sixth straight session.

However, local retail investors were seen considerably reducing their selling pressure and domestic institutions continued to remain net buyers in the bourse, where trading volumes rose sharply.

The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was comparatively in a better position as its deceleration was slower than the other measures.

The 20-stock Total Return Index shed 2.09% to 16,532.42 points, the All Share Index (with wider constituents) by 1.95% to 2,875 and the Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.68% to 3,307.72 points.

All the three indices factored in dividend income as well.

Telecom stocks plunged 6.27%, followed by transport (2.57%), banks and financial services (2.46%), realty (2.22%), insurance (1.22%), consumer goods (0.71%) and industrials (0.2%).

Major losers included QNB, Industries Qatar, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, International Islamic, al khaliji, Ezdan, United Development Company, Barwa, Salam International Investment and Qatari Investors Group.

However, Gulf International Services notably bucked the trend.

Market capitalisation eroded 2.52% to QR646.34bn. Micro caps melted more than 4%, large caps by about 3% and mid caps by more than 2%.

Foreign institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR50.42mn compared with net buyers of QR33.3mn the previous day.

Qatari retail investors’ net selling stood at QR43.77mn against QR121.2mn on Tuesday.

Non-Qatari individual investors’ net selling was QR9.79mn compared to QR7.88mn the previous day.

Domestic institutions’ net buying amounted to QR103.99mn against QR95.72mn on Tuesday.

Total trading volume grew 84% to 26.59mn stocks, value by 86% to QR1.21bn and transactions by 34% to 15,444.

The telecom sector’s trading volume more than tripled to 2.95mn equities and value grew more than five-fold to QR77.4mn on almost tripled deals to 808.

The banks and financial services sector’ trading volume almost tripled to 7.79mn shares and value also almost tripled to QR430.16mn on more than doubled transactions to 3,802.

The consumer goods sector saw its trading volume surge 86% to 1.71mn stocks, value by 72% to QR79.02mn and deals by 47% to 865.

The real estate sector’s trading volume expanded 85% to 3.7mn equities, value by 87% to QR97.6mn and transactions by 75% to 1,243.

There was a 79% jump in insurance sector’s trading volume to 0.61mn shares, 97% in value to QR34.97mn and 46% in deals to 435.

The transport sector’s trading volume rose 77% to 1.79mn stocks, value by 16% to QR46.51mn and transactions by 3% to 440.

The market witnessed 27% gain in industrials sector’s trading volume to 8.04mn equities, 38% in value to QR443.53mn and 5% in deals to 7,851.

In the debt market, as many as 20,000 treasury bills valued at QR199.14mn changed hands across eight transactions. However, there was no trading of government bonds.




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