Aided by strong buying support from domestic institutions, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) inched near its pre-crisis peak this week.
Banking, telecom and realty counters witnessed robust demand this week which saw Qatar’s Finance Minister HE Ali Sherif al-Emadi reiterate the continuing strength of the country’s financial sector amidst blockade, while Qatar Central Bank maintain that deposits outflows from banks was “insignificant”.
Weakened net selling pressure from local and non-Qatari retail investors also helped in the QSE’s 20-stock Qatar Index gain 0.76% this week which saw Commercial Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) report net profit of QR179.6mn and QR1.16bn respectively in the first half (H1) of this year.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain bourses had gained 1.02%, 0.76% and 0.23%; while Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait fell 2.38%, 0.71% and 0.11% respectively this week which witnessed Doha Bank register H1 net profit of QR716mn.
Buying was primarily skewed towards small and large cap scrips on the QSE this week which saw Masraf Al Rayan record a net profit of QR1.02bn in January-June 2017.
Islamic stocks were gaining faster than the main index and other indices this week which witnessed Al Khaliji’s H1 net profit at QR320mn.
“Positive earnings of the banking institutions helped sustain the bullish momentum in the market,” an analyst said, adding that the QSE could maintain the tempo, considering that a solution to the current economic blockade is within reachable limits.
However, non-Qatari institutions turned net profit takers this week which also saw United Development Company (UDC) return a net profit of QR318mn this H1.
Overall trade turnover and volumes were on the decline this week, which saw banking, telecom, industrials and real estate sectors together accounted for more than 85% of the volumes.
The banks and financial services sector accounted for 28% of the total volume, telecom (27%), industrials and realty (15% each), transport (10%), consumer goods (4%) and insurance (less than 1%) this week which saw Nakilat enter into a memorandum of understanding with Höegh LNG, exploring collaboration for floating terminals.
The banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 40%, industrials (20%), telecom (11%), consumer goods and transport (10% each), real estate (8%) insurance (1%) this week which saw the Institute of International Finance view that Qatar's banks, which are "sound", have the lowest non-performing loans in the Gulf and the wider Middle East and North Africa region.
Opening weak at 9,344 points, which was also the intra-week lowest, the market rebounded the next day but only to see profit booking on Tuesday with index settling a little below 9,400 points. Thereafter, the index was on a consistent upward path to finally settle 72 points higher this week which saw BMI, a Fitch company, sounded “robustly” bullish on Qatari construction industry, notwithstanding the economic blockade by the siege countries.
Market capitalisation shot up 1.24% or more than QR6bn to QR517bn with small, large, micro and midcap scrips gaining 2.64%, 1.12%, 0.42% and 0.23% respectively this week which saw Vodafone Qatar and Gulf International Services (GIS) dominate trading ring in volume and value.
More than 59% of the traded stocks extended gains with major movers being Gulf Warehousing, Qatar National Cement, GIS, QIIB, QNB, Ooredoo, Widam Food, Qatari Investors Group, Mazaya Qatar, Ezdan, QIB and Vodafone Qatar this week which saw a total of 123,210 sovereign bonds valued at QR1.23bn trade across three transactions.
Nevertheless, Milaha, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Qatar Electricity and Water Zad Holding and UDC were among the losers this week which saw Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company enter into a term loan pact with Doha Bank to fund the former's new mixed-use development project, 'Abraj Al Tahwiliya'.
Domestic institutions’ net buying increased influentially to QR73.61mn compared to QR30.77 the week ended July 13.
Local individual investors’ net profit booking weakened substantially to QR34.43mn against QR88.93mn the previous week.
Non-Qatari individual investors’ net selling also declined to QR21.41mn compared to QR26.37mn a week ago.
However, non-Qatari institutions turned net sellers to the tune of QR17.88mn against net buyers of QR84.53mn the week ended July 13.
Total trade volume fell 19% to 39.91mn shares, value by 25% to QR1.1bn and transactions by 18% to 14,485 this week.
There was 72% plunge in the insurance sector’s trade volume to 0.17mn equities, 70% in value to QR9.2mn and 43% in deals to 243.
The telecom sector’s trade volume plummeted 29% to 10.73mn stocks, value by 25% to QR124.05mn and transactions by 2% to 1,506.
The banks and financial services sector saw 28% shrinkage in trade volume to 11.28mn shares, 40% in value to QR439.1mn and 27% in deals to 4,802.
The industrials sector’s trade volume tanked 17% to 6.15mn equities, value by 9% to QR218.86mn and transactions by 19% to 2,614.
The real estate sector reported 3% decline in trade volume to 5.8mn stocks, 26% in value to QR88.35mn and 22% in deals to 1,858.
However, the transport sector’s trade volume soared 30% to 3.99mn shares and value by 52% to QR108.39mn, whereas transactions were down 3% to 1,868.
The market witnessed 23% expansion in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 1.79mn equities and 3% in value to QR115.71mn but on 4% fall in deals to 1,594.