An overall bearish overhang was visible in the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) during the week, which saw the debut of Qatar First Bank (QFB) on the bourse.

Notwithstanding the surge in world energy prices mainly due to weak dollar; the local bourse was rather dragged by an across the board strong selling, particularly in the real estate and consumer goods during the week which saw QSE expect more listings in its main market and in junior bourse 'Venture Market' within this year.

Local retail investors turned bearish and there were substantially reduced buying interests of domestic institutions during the week which saw the newly listed QFB eye credit ratings and capital boost to support its current robust growth.

Micro and midcap equities witnessed heavier offloading during the week which saw QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori view that the new single window system will speed up and smoothen the listing process.

“Domestic factors such as the corporate results largely sway the market,” an analyst said, adding regarding the listing of QFB, the investors are rather waiting for the market to find the intrinsic price of the stocks.

The 20-stock Qatar Index plunged 2.02% during the week which saw Ezdan receives credit ratings from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. QSE is down 2.33% year-to-date.

Opening the week weak at 10,263 points on Sunday, the market kept weakening for the next three days to touch a low of 10,160 points on Wednesday, after which there was some gains but could not cover the lost grounds and thus settle 210 points lower at 10,186 points.

However, the selling pressure from domestic institutions weakened considerably and non-Qatari individual investors turned bullish during the week which saw trading turnover decline amidst gains in volumes.

Islamic stocks witnessed faster declines than the conventional ones during the week which saw banking and industrials stocks constitute more than 71% of the trading volumes in the QSE.

The 20-stock Total Return Index shed 2.02%, All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 1.95% and Al Rayan Islamic Index 3.27% during the week which saw Alijarah Holding, Masraf Al Rayan and Gulf International Services (GIS) dominate the trading ring in terms of volume and value.

Realty stocks plunged 4.89%, consumer goods (2.94%), transport (1.82%), consumer goods (1.79%), insurance (1.61%), banks and financial services (0.75%) and telecom (0.53%) during the week which saw Institute of International Finance view that Qatar's public foreign assets are more than 200% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, which is higher than the Gulf average of 159%.

Market capitalisation shrank 1.01% or about QR6bn to QR549.53bn with micro, mid, small and large cap equities declining 3.34%, 2.78%, 1.21% and 0.47% respectively during the week which saw domestic brokerage houses by and large witness a lower year-on-year share in the trading activities in the first three months of this year.

Large, mid and small cap stocks have fallen 4.17%, 0.19% and 0.13% respectively year-to-date; whereas microcaps gained 1.22%.

11 of the 13 banks and financial services, eight of the nine industrials; six of the eight consumer goods; three each of the five insurers, the four real estate and the three transport; and one of the two telecom stocks closed lower during the week.

More than 81% of the scrips were in the red with major losers being Alijarah Holding, Ezdan, Ahli Bank, Aamal Company, Qatar Islamic Bank, Industries Qatar, GIS, Qatar Insurance, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Mazaya Qatar, Vodafone Qatar and Nakilat; even as Dlala, QNB, Qatari Investors Group, Ooredoo, United Development Company, Al Meera and Doha Insurance bucked the trend during the week.

Local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR48.06mn compared with net buyers of QR3.14mn the previous week.

Domestic institutions’ net profit booking weakened considerably to QR1.94mn against QR149.96mn the week ended April 21.

However, foreign institutions’ net buying declined perceptibly to QR34.86mn compared to QR171.64mn the previous week.

Non-Qatari individual investors turned net buyers to the extent of QR15.32mn against net profit takers of QR25.68mn the week ended April 21.

Total trade volume was up 9% to 60.76mn shares, value by 5% to QR1.76bn and transactions by 1% to 27,518 during the week.

The banks and financial services sector reported 80% surge in trade volume to 31.28mn equities, 27% in value to QR700.48mn and 39% in deals to 10,817.

The industrials sector’s trade volume soared 24% to 12.14mn stocks, value by 20% to QR448.48mn and transactions by 4% to 5,750.

The market witnessed 21% increase in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 0.51mn shares, 25% in value to QR35.07mn and 12% in deals to 487.

However, the real estate sector’s trade volume plummeted 49% to 7.39mn equities, value by 87% to QR35.07mn and transactions by 90% to 487.

There was 32% plunge in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 4.5mn stocks, 30% in value to QR254.38mn and 13% in deals to 3,570.

The transport sector’s trade volume tanked 29% to 2.2mn shares, value by 48% to QR83.98mn and transactions by 38% to 1,252.

The telecom sector saw 26% shrinkage in trade volume to 2.74mn equities, 10% in value to QR87.08mn and 20% in deals to 2,499.

In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds during the week.

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