The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) could not regain from the steep decline on the opening day that it finally closed in the negative terrain during the week, which otherwise witnessed strong rebound in the global energy front with crude surpassing the $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly seven months.
The bourse lost 97 points as domestic institutions and non-Qatari individual investors squared off their position during the week which witnessed the QSE pin hopes on further upgrade to developed market status in the MSCI Index.
Real estate, insurance, telecom and transport counters witnessed higher than average sell off during the week which saw Moody's, a global credit rating agency, view that Qatar's credit profile is supported by robust growth, extraordinary high wealth levels, and strong buffers but its debt levels are comparatively high and reform plans present implementation risks.
Islamic stocks were seen declining faster than other conventional ones during the week which witnessed Qatar First Bank (QFB) enter into an agreement with UK’s largest property adviser, JLL in view of the increasing demand for real estate investment in the UK and Europe from investors in Qatar and wider Gulf Cooperation Council region.
Micro and small cap stocks bore the maximum brunt during the week which saw the 20-stock Qatar Index shrink 0.99%.
In comparison, Saudi Arabia plunged 3.18%, Bahrain (0.35%) and Muscat (0.28%); whereas Dubai soared 3.75%, Kuwait (1.36%) and Abu Dhabi (1.14%) during the week which saw the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics disclose that inflation, based on consumer price index, in Qatar rose 3.1% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year.
The Qatari bourse has fallen 6.84% year-to-date against Bahrain’s steep 9.63% decline, Saudi Arabia’s 6.21%, Kuwait’s 3.89% and Abu Dhabi’s 0.55%; whereas Muscat and Dubai soared 9.4% and 6.35% respectively.
Opening the week extremely weak at 9,638 points on Sunday, the market rather witnessed a rollercoaster drive for the next two days and settled at 9,665 points on Tuesday as oil prices fell for the fifth consecutive day mainly on stronger dollar, after which it was consistently on a winning streak but overall it settled lower at 9,716 points although price crossed $50 on Thursday.
The 20-stock Total Return Index shed 0.99%, All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 0.9% and Al Rayan Islamic Index 1.29% during the week which saw Energy Minister HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada pitch that the $65 oil price was vital for investments.
Realty stocks plunged 2.6%, insurance (1.98%), telecom (1.58%), transport (1%), industrials (0.35%), consumer goods (0.29%) and banks and financial services (0.27%) during the week which saw Qatar’s producer price index gain 1.9% in March against the previous month’s levels on higher prices for crude and natural gas as well as manufactured products.
Market capitalisation fell 0.26% or more than QR1bn to QR526.71bn with micro, small, mid and large cap equities losing 1.81%, 0.98%, 0.73% and 0.38% respectively during the week which saw Gulf International Services (GIS) and Masraf Al Rayan dominate the trading ring in terms of volume and value.
Large, mid, small and microcap equities have reported year-to-date losses of 8.38%, 3.76%, 2.12% and 1.2% respectively.
Of the 44 stocks, as many 33 declined, while only 10 rose and one was unchanged during the week which saw BMI Research, a Fitch Group company, view that Qatar Central Bank may maintain its policy rate at 4.5% for the remainder of this year to support lending amid slowdown in economic growth.
Eleven of the 13 banks and financial services; six of the nine industrials; five of the eight consumer goods; all of the four real estate; three of the five insurers; and two each of the three transport and the two telecom stocks close lower during the week which saw the trading turnover and volumes decline.
Three-fourth of the scrips was in the red with major losers being Ezdan, Mazaya Qatar, Ooredoo, Milaha, Gulf Warehousing, Qatar Insurance, Industries Qatar, Qatari Investors Group, Aamal Company, Alijarah Holding, Dlala, Islamic Holding Group and QFB; even as GIS, Nakilat, Doha Bank, QIIB, Mannai Corporation and Medicare Group bucked the trend.
Domestic institutions turned net sellers to the extent of QR17.4mn against net buyers of QR51.68mn the week ended May 19.
Non-Qatari individual investors were also net sellers to the extent of QR9.37mn compared with net buyers of QR0.4mn the previous week.
However, foreign institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR3.65mn against net profit takers of QR60.22mn the week ended May 19.
Local retail investors’ net buying increased substantially to QR23.12mn compared to QR8.15mn the previous week.
Total trade volume fell 49% to 21.98mn shares, value by 41% to QR794.34mn and transactions by 28% to 16,217 during the week.
The telecom sector saw 72% plunge in trade volume to 2.34mn equities, 41% in value to QR86.01mn and 18% in deals to 3,222.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume plummeted 57% to 5.87mn stocks, value by 46% to QR205mn and transactions by 28% to 4,043.
There was 51% shrinkage in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 6.58mn shares, 43% in value to QR279.67mn and 44% in deals to 3,766.
The consumer goods sector’s trade volume tanked 43% to 1.73mn equities, value by 57% to QR67.78mn and transactions by 46% to 1,326.
The market witnessed 22% decline in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 0.42mn stocks, 23% in value to QR28.6mn and 16% in deals to 492.
The transport sector’s trade volume was down 9% to 1.41mn shares and value by 27% to QR42.46mn, while transactions gained 40% to 1,167.
However, the real estate sector reported 21% surge in trade volume to 4.03mn equities and 21% in value to QR84.81mn but on 4% fall in deals to 2,201.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds during the week.