By Santhosh V. Perumal
Telecom, insurance, real estate and consumer goods lifted the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) albeit by a marginal 15 points in an otherwise truncated trading week in view of Eid al-Adha holidays.
Domestic institutions’ buying interests and foreign institutions’ lower profit booking lent support to the overall bullish momentum to the QSE during the week, which saw the US Federal Reserve decide to continue with its policy rates.
Notwithstanding net selling pressure by local and non-Qatari individual investors, the 20-stock Qatar Index was up 0.13% during the week that saw global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) reaffirm its ‘AA/A-1’ sovereign rating to Qatar.
However, selling pressure was visible within the transport and industrials counters during the week that saw S&P view that Qatar's banking sector may see widened net external liability position and higher loan-deposit ratios as public and private sector spending is likely to be largely funded by borrowing from domestic financial entities.
The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was also seen reeling under selling pressure during the week that saw Arqaam Capital forecast $1bn passive funds inflow once FTSE Russell upgrades QSE into secondary emerging market.
The 20-stock Total Return Index rose 0.13% and All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 0.17%; while Al Rayan Islamic Index fell 0.63% during the week that witnessed real estate, banking, industrials and telecom sectors together constitute more than 92% of the overall trading volume.
Telecom stocks appreciated 1.39%, insurance (1.2%), realty (0.8%), consumer goods (0.58%) and banks and financial services (0.19%); whereas transport and industrials shrank 0.84% and 0.65% respectively during the week that featured a Global Investment House study, which said Qatar's banking industry witnessed the strongest asset expansion in the Gulf region in the second quarter of this year.
Of the 43 stocks, as many as 21 gained, while 20 fell and two were unchanged during the week.
Five each of the 12 banks and financial services, the eight consumer goods and the nine industrials; three of the four real estate and two of the three transport sector equities close lower during the week.
Major gainers included QNB, Industries Qatar, Qatari Investors Group, Aamal Company, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Barwa, Gulf Warehousing, Nakilat, United Development Company and Islamic Holding Group during the week.
However, Ooredoo, Vodafone Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank, Doha Bank, Alijarah Holding, Gulf International Services, Doha Insurance, Ezdan and Milaha were seen bucking the trend during the week.
Market capitalisation was rather flat at QR602.41bn.
Domestic institutions turned net buyers to the tune of QR54.07mn against net sellers of QR19.7mn the week ended September 17.
Foreign institutions’ net profit booking sunk to QR38.86mn compared to QR185.2mn the previous week.
However, local retail investors turned net sellers to the extent of QR14.51mn against net buyers of QR138.01mn the week ended September 17.
Non-Qatari retail investors were also net profit takers to the tune of QR0.71mn compared with net buyers of QR66.76mn the previous week.
Total trade volume shrank 56% to 14.25mn shares, value by 51% to QR644.48mn and transactions by 52% to 9,283 during the week.
The insurance sector saw 76% plunge in trade volume to 0.23mn equities, 64% in value to QR16.39mn and 55% in deals to 173.
The transport sector’s trade volume plummeted 70% to 0.31mn stocks, value by 64% to QR10.74mn and transactions by 43% to 402.
The market witnessed 68% decline in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 4.01mn shares, 66% in value to QR90.78mn and 48% in deals to 1,806.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume tanked 62% to 3.47mn equities, value by 58% to QR221.01mn and transactions by 66% to 2,087.
There was 39% shrinkage in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 0.54mn stocks, 37% in value to QR35.69mn and 46% in deals to 442.
The industrials sector’s trade volume declined 34% to 3.22mn shares, value by 39% to QR193.64mn and transactions by 46% to 3,054.
The telecom sector saw 18% fall in trade volume to 2.46mn equities, 10% in value to QR76.24mn and 45% in deals to 1,319.
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds during the week.
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