Small and micro-cap equities stole the limelight this week in the Qatar Stock Exchange, which settled at more than 8,600 points.
About 80% of the traded stocks witnessed price appreciation, which helped the 20-stock Qatar Index gain 1.23% this week which saw reports that Qatar Financial Center domiciled certain entities may embark on listings this year.
Islamic stocks were seen outperforming the market this week which however saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.
Transport and consumer goods witnessed higher than average buying interests this week which witnessed Qatar Central Bank (QCB) seen encouraging financial institutions to provide financial products and services without minimum balance or charges as part of greater national financial inclusion
Non-Qatari individuals buying interests and lower selling pressure from domestic funds were rather instrumental in the bullish run this week which witnessed QCB contemplating establishing a central Shariah committee for Islamic banks to create consistency in Islamic finance.
However, local retail investors turned bearish and there was weakened net buying by non-Qatari funds this week which saw Qatar Re, the reinsurance subsidiary of Qatar Insurance Company, announcing the acquisition of Gibraltar-based Markerstudy Group insurance companies.
The banking, real estate and industrials counters together accounted for more than 80% of total trading volume this week which saw Vodafone Qatar changed its financial year to January-December from April-March format in order to ensure uniformity with the other listed entities.
The banks and financial services sector accounted for 31% of the total volume, realty (29%), industrials (20%), consumer goods, telecom and transport (6% each) and insurance (3%) this week.
The banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 38%, real estate (19%), industrials (17%), consumer goods (12%), telecom and transport (6% each), and insurance (3%) this week.
Major gainers included Gulf Warehousing, Nakilat, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Gulf International Services, Qatari Investors Group, Mazaya Qatar, United Development Company, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Medicare Group, Ahli Bank, QIIB, Masraf Al Rayan, al khaliji and Islamic Holding Group this week.
Nevertheless, Commercial Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar First Bank, Qatar Insurance, Industries Qatar and Ezdan were among the losers this week.
Non-Qatari individual investors were net buyers to the tune of QR11.09mn compared with net sellers of QR0.04mn the week December 28.
Domestic institutions’ net selling weakened substantially to QR17.41mn against QR59.24mn the previous week.
However, local retail investors turned net sellers to the extent of QR3.98mn compared with net buyers of QR13.49mn a week ago.
Non-Qatari funds’ net buying weakened considerably to QR10.31mn against QR45.88mn the week ended December 28.
Total trade volume fell 39% to 37.81mn shares and value by 31% to QR866.12mn, while deals were up 7% to 15,610.
The telecom sector reported 76% plunge in trade volume to 2.24mn equities and 46% in value to QR50.23mn but on 15% increase in transactions to 1,354.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume plummeted 55% to 11.79mn stocks, value by 54% to QR329.58mn and deals by 15% to 4,640.
There was 47% shrinkage in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 7.67mn shares, 17% in value to QR149.08mn and 4% in transactions to 3,500.
The insurance sector’s trade volume tanked 42% to 0.97mn equities, value by 61% to QR22.82mn and deals by 30% to 265.
However, the market witnessed 69% surge in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 2.09mn stocks to more than double value to QR105.38mn on almost doubled transactions to 1,759.
The transport sector’s trade volume soared 53% to 2.23mn shares, value by 5% to QR48.14mn and deals by 56% to 1,253.
The real estate sector saw 43% expansion in trade volume to 10.82mn equities, 41% in value to QR160.89mn and 29% in transactions to 2,839.
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