The Qatar Stock Exchange lost a sizeable 366 points in its key barometer and QR20bn in capitalisation as dividend woes had cast its spell this week.
Foreign institutions’ strong profit booking drove the market down this week, which saw Vodafone Group's intent to sell its 51% stake in Qatari operations to the existing partner Qatar Foundation.
Selling pressure was seen intense, particularly within the insurance, realty and banking counters, that the 20-stock Qatar Index plummeted 4.03% this week which saw decks been cleared for the country’s first exchange traded fund to get listed on Monday.
Islamic stocks were seen declining slower than the other indices this week which saw Qatar National Cement Company’s (QNCC) plans to operationalise the fifth plant by the first half of this year to enhance the cement production by 5,500 tonnes per day.
A three-fourth of the traded stocks were in the red this week which witnessed Qatar’s trade surplus at QR16.35bn in January 2018, representing more than 52% growth on a yearly basis and about 10% month-on-month.
Profit booking was squarely visible within large, small and microcap segments this week which saw as many as 27,000 sovereign bonds valued at QR268.65mn change hands across two deals.
However, domestic funds were increasingly net buyers and both Qatari and non-Qatari individuals turned bullish this week which saw a report that Qatar Central Bank is at present weighing a proposal on the three-way combination of Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank and International bank of Qatar.
The Total Return Index shed 2.76%, Al Rayan Islamic Index by 1.69% and All Share Index by 3.19% this week which saw Mannai Corporation shareholders approve the board’s proposal to raise $600nmn through bonds from global markets.
The insurance index plunged 6.93%, realty (5.47%), banks and financial services (4.37%), industrials (2.14%), consumer goods (0.83%) and transport (0.16%), while telecom soared 4.95% this week which saw banking, telecom, real estate and industrials together account for about 92% of the total trading volume.
The banks and financial services sector accounted for 30% of the total volume, telecom (25%), realty (19%), industrials (17%), consumer goods and transport (3% each) and insurance (2%) this week.
The banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 33%, industrials (22%), real estate (16%), telecom (11%), consumer goods (10%), transport (4%) and insurance (3%) this week.
Major losers included Qatar Insurance, Barwa, Ezdan, QNB, Commercial Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Industries Qatar, QNCC, Qatar Electricity and Water, Gulf International Services and Ooredoo; while Vodafone Qatar, Aamal Company, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Milaha and Gulf Warehousing were among the gainers this week.
Non-Qatari funds turned net sellers to the tune of QR75.45mn compared with net buyers of QR1.27mn a week ago.
However, domestic institutions’ net buying increased to QR64.1mn against QR57.39mn the week ended February 22.
Non-Qatari individuals were net buyers to the extent of QR11.11mn compared with net sellers of QR2.85mn the previous week.
Local retail investors were also net buyers to the tune of QR0.36mn against net profit takers of QR55.88mn a week ago.
Total trade volume grew 56% to 51.34mn shares, value by 52% to QR1.21bn and transactions by 37% to 18,506.
The telecom sector’s trade volume grew 10-fold to 12-8mn equities and value almost quadrupled to QR136.34mn and almost quadrupled deals to 3,221.
The insurance sector’s trade volume almost tripled to 1.02mn stocks and value also almost tripled to QR41.59mn on more than doubled transactions to 890.
The transport sector’s trade volume more than doubled to 1.48mn shares and value also more than doubled to QR46.16mn on 73% increase in deals to 847.
The real estate sector reported 70% surge in trade volume to 9.94mn equities, 96% in value to QR198.56mn and 29% in transactions to 3,143.
The industrials sector’s trade volume soared 15% to 8.86mn stocks and value by 51% to QR265.61mn, whereas deals fell 7% to 3,394.
There was 8% expansion in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 1.69mn shares, 32% in value to QR117.29mn and 49% in transactions to 1,570.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume was up less than 1% to 15.55mn equities, value by 13% to QR401.71mn and deals by 18% to 5,441.