The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) witnessed more than 70% of its stocks in the red but overall its key index settled marginally down this week.
Lower buying support from domestic and foreign funds as well as increased selling by non-Qatari individuals drove the 20-stock Qatar Index down 0.04% this week, which saw QNB report net profit of QR3.2bn in January-March this year.
Abu Dhabi shrank 2.1%, Dubai (1.6%), Muscat (0.74%) and Kuwait (0.31%); while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia rose 0.21% and 0.02% respectively this week which saw the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say Qatar is well positioned to mitigate the macroeconomic challenges from sustained lower hydrocarbon prices and its real growth is projected at 3.4% this year.
Qatari bourse’s year-to-date gains (YTD) were at 0.14% against 21.92% in Kuwait, 11.12% in Bahrain; whereas Muscat fell 3.65%, Saudi Arabia (1.85%), Abu Dhabi (0.62%) and Dubai (0.61%).
Insurance, realty and transport saw robust profit booking on the QSE this week, which saw IMF suggest suspension or postponement of the new loan-to-deposit ratio norm, which is to be effective from 2017-end.
Selling was skewed towards microcap equities this week which also saw IMF view that developing a risk-free yield curve and elongating sovereign bonds’ maturity beyond 10 years to help establish a private debt market in Qatar.
Islamic stocks were seen falling faster than the main index and other indices this week which witnessed Capital Intelligence affirm Qatar Islamic Bank’s financial strength rating at ‘A’ with a "stable" outlook.
However, local retail investors’ net selling weakened this week which saw Qatar Steel find a solution to its large stockpile of steel slag, aggregating 1.6mn tonnes, by planning to utilise it in the construction sector, especially for road infrastructure.
Overall trade turnover and volumes fell this week, which saw banking, real estate and telecom sectors together account for more than 85% of the volumes.
Banks and financial services sector constituted 32% of the total volume, realty and telecom (27% each), industrials (6%), transport (5%), and consumer goods and insurance (2% each) this week which saw Qatar’s consumer price index inflation rise 0.9% year-on-year in March.
Banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 41%, real estate (19%), industrials and telecom (12% each), consumer goods (7%), transport (6%) and insurance (3%) this week which saw Qatar's producer price index surge 34% year-on-year this February.
Opening the week strong at 10,510 points, the market was then on a fall for the next two days to touch a low of 10,412 points but rebounded on Wednesday. However, the last day’s selling led the index decline five points lower this week.
The 20-stock Total Return Index was down 0.04%, All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 0.01% and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 0.22% this week which saw a total of 35,000 treasury bills valued at QR348.54mn trade across one deal.
The insurance index fell 1.08%, realty (0.68%) and transport (0.17%); whereas telecom gained 1.24%, consumer goods (0.47%), banks and financial services (0.16%) and industrials (0.14%) this week which saw Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan and Masraf Al Rayan dominate the trade volumes and value.
Market capitalisation however rose 0.17% or about QR1bn to QR561.46bn on 0.18% jump in small cap equities; while micro, mid and large caps declined 1.42%, 0.21% and 0.03% respectively this week.
Small cap scrips saw YTD gains of 2.91%; whereas mid, large and microcaps fell 7.02%, 0.22% and 0.14% respectively.
Major losers included Commercial Bank, Qatar First Bank, QIIB, Alijarah Holding, Qatari German Company for Medical Devices, Aamal Company, Gulf International Services, Qatar Insurance, Doha Insurance, Al Khaleej Takaful, Qatar Islamic Insurance, United Development Company, Barwa, Mazaya Qatar and Nakilat this week.
Nevertheless, major gainers included Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Gulf Warehousing, Milaha, Industries Qatar, Medicare Group, Qatar National Cement, QNB and Ahli Bank this week.
Domestic institutions’ net buying fell perceptibly to QR8.5mn compared to QR19.77mn the previous week.
Foreign institutions’ net buying shrank substantially to QR28.13mn against QR57.46mn the week ended April 6.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net selling strengthened influentially to QR17.01mn compared to QR9.39mn the previous week.
However, local retail investors’ net profit booking weakened substantially to QR19.73mn against QR67.71mn the week ended April 6.
Total trade volume was down 4% to 38.78mn shares, value by 12% to QR1.09bn and transactions by 7% to 14,267 this week.
There was 20% plunge in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 2.37mn equities, 29% in value to QR132.06mn and 3% in deals to 2,704.
The real estate sector’s trade volume plummeted 19% to 10.43mn stocks, value by 19% to QR204.38mn and transactions by 5% to 2,268.
The consumer goods sector reported 16% shrinkage in trade volume to 0.93mn shares but on 5% rise in value to QR73.93mn, while there was 10% fall in deals to 1,229.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume was down 1% to 12.25mn equities, value by 13% to QR450.09mn and transactions by 10% to 5,465.
However, the insurance sector’s trade volume more than doubled to 0.59mn stocks and value almost doubled to QR31.19mn but on 67% increase in deals to 493.
The transport sector saw 15% surge in trade volume to 1.89mn shares, 31% in value to QR70.29mn and 5% in transactions to 1,066.
The telecom sector’s trade volume expanded 11% to 10.32mn stocks, whereas value declined 10% to QR128.23mn and deals by 28% to 1,042.