By Santhosh V. Perumal
Strong profit booking led Qatar Stock Exchange shed 515 points in index and about QR23bn in capitalisation during the week that witnessed world prices tumble to hit four-year low.
Domestic institutions largely squared off their position to drive the bourse’s main index below 13,400 levels during the week that although saw oil exporters grouping Opec deciding against any production cut.
Brent crude has been on a slippery path on greater North American production as well as lower demand from China and Europe, a trend that is set to continue over the first quarter of 2015 as well, according to analysts.
An across the board selling – especially in the realty, insurance, consumer goods and telecom stocks – was witnessed during the week that saw Finance Minister HE Ali Shareef al-Emadi assert that none of the 2022 World Cup-related infrastructure projects will be cancelled.
In comparison, Saudi Arabia shrank 3.75%, Abu Dhabi (3.23%), Muscat (2%), Dubai (1.51%) and Bahrain (0.3%); while Kuwait was up 0.01% during the week that saw Commercial Bank CEO Abdulla al-Raisi say Qatar is in a strong position to continue its robust economic performance and its banking sector is now set to benefit from the nation’s anticipated economic growth.
Qatar’s bourse has gained 28.43% year-to-date against Dubai’s 33.37%, Bahrain (15.06%), Abu Dhabi (11.83%), Saudi Arabia (6.09%) and Muscat (1.5%); even as Kuwait shrank 7.46%.
Small, micro and mid stocks faced severe selling pressure during the week that however saw foreign institutions becoming increasingly bullish.
Realty stocks plummeted 5.53%, followed by insurance (5.51%), consumer goods (4.42%), telecom (4.05%), industrials (3.42%), banks and financial services (2.63%) and transport (1.7%) during the week that saw World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers find Qatar and the UAE to have least demanding tax regime.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen melting faster than the other indices during the week that saw banks, real estate and industrials, which together account for more than 83% of the total trade volume.
The 20-stock Total Return Index plummeted 3.72%, All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 3.52% and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 4.62% during the week that saw Gulf International Services, QNB, Masraf Al Rayan and Industries Qatar dominate the trading ring in terms of both volume and value.
Of the 43 stocks, 42 declined; while only one gained during the week that saw Qatar Insurance Company announce its $250mn convertible notes to be offered to the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority.
Eleven of the 12 banks and financial services; and all of eight consumer goods, nine industrials, five insurers, four realty, two transport and three transport stocks closed higher during the week.
More than 98% of the stocks ended in the red with major losers being GIS, Alijarah Holding, United Development Company and Barwa; while Islamic Holding Group alone bucked the trend during the week.
Market capitalisation eroded 3.16% to QR727.69bn during the week. Small, micro, mid and large cap equities were seen melting 5.01%, 4.6%, 3.98% and 2.66% respectively.
Micro, small, mid and large cap equities are up 46.4%, 29.15%, 27.14% and 25.37% respectively year-to-date.
Domestic institutions’ net profit booking surged to QR302.72mn against QR121.97mn the previous week.
Local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR82.74mn compared with net buyers of QR5.36mn the week ended November 20.
Foreign institutions’ net buying strengthened to QR321.77mn against QR131.35mn the previous week.
Non-Qatari individual investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR63.7mn compare with net sellers of QR14.74mn the week ended November 20.
A total of 72.87mn shares valued at QR6.57bn changed hands across 37,797 transactions.
The banks and financial sector witnesses as many as 27.18mn stocks worth QR3.1bn trade in 14,054 deals.
The industrial sector saw as many as 16.82mn equities valued at QR2.35bn change hands across 10,953 transactions.
The real estate sector saw a total of 16.56mn shares worth QR488.08mn change hands across 6,486 deals.
The telecom sector saw 6.6mn stocks valued at QR211.24mn trade in 2,211 transactions.
The transport segment recorded 2.42mn shares worth QR119.19mn change hands across 1,310 deals.
A total of 2.23mn consumer goods equities valued at QR228.89mn trade across 2,126 transactions.
The insurance saw a total of 1.05mn shares worth QR73.04mn trade across 657 deals.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds during the week.
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