Foreign funds’ higher net selling and local retail investors’ bearish grip led the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) to languish at five-month low, becoming the worst performer among the Gulf bourses this week.
About 82% of the stocks were in the red as the 20-stock Qatar Index shed 1.5% and capitalisation eroded QR11bn this week, which saw Qatar cabinet’s approval for draft law to introduce value added tax.
Kuwait, Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain bourses fell 1.48%, 0.9%, 0.31% and 0.07%, while Abu Dhabi and Dubai rose 2.31% and 0.09% respectively this week which saw listed companies’ cumulative net profit at QR10.71bn in January-March 2017.
The QSE’s year-to-date (YTD) losses were at 4.78% against 5.31% in Muscat, 3.97% in Saudi Arabia and 3.15% in Dubai; whereas Kuwait, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi added 17.48%, 9.08% and 1.56% respectively.
Profit booking was intense within transport, industrials, telecom, consumer goods and banking counters this week which witnessed QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori reveal increased listing interests from Qatar’s corporate sector.
Large and small cap equities suffered the most this week which saw the Ministry of Economy and Commerce give final touches to a new public private partnership law.
Islamic stocks fell faster than the main index this week which saw Qatar's 2016 fourth quarter producer price index fall 9.7% on a quarterly basis.
However, domestic institutions turned net buyers this week which saw Ernst and Young view mergers and acquisitions, especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council, to rebound on expected lower oil prices, hydrocarbon firms’ refocus on core activities and opportunity to acquire assets with attractive valuation.
Overall trade turnover and volumes grew this week, which saw real estate, banking and telecom sectors account for more than 83% of the volumes.
Banks and financial services and realty sector constituted 29% each of the total volume, telecom (25%), industrials (7%), consumer goods (4%), transport (3%) and insurance (2%) this week which saw Vodafone Qatar, Ezdan and Commercial Bank dominate the trading ring in volumes and value.
Banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 39%, real estate (19%), industrials (15%), telecom (11%), consumer goods (8%), transport (4%) and insurance (3%) this week which saw no trading of treasury bills and sovereign bonds.
Opening the week weak at 10,064 points, the gains in the second day led index reach a high of 10,110 points, after which it was on a declining path to overall settle 152 points lower this week.
The 20-stock Total Return Index shed 1.5%, All Share Index1.64% and Al Rayan Islamic Index 1.6% this week which saw profit booking grip six of the seven sectors.
The transport sector lost 3.67%, industrials (2.59%), telecom (2.09%), consumer goods (2.02%), banks and financial institutions (1.76%) and insurance (1.07%), while realty gained 0.57% this week.
Market capitalisation eroded 1.97% to QR532.05bn as large, small, micro and midcap stocks fell 2.08%, 1.8%, 1.64% and 1.59% respectively this week.
Mid, large, small and microcap equities’ YTD losses were at 10.71%, 5.46%, 4.24% and 2.66% respectively.
Major losers included Industries Qatar, QNB, Ooredoo, Qatar Insurance, Qatar National Cement, Milaha, Woqod, Qatar Islamic Bank, QIIB, Qatar Electricity and Water, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Gulf International Services, Barwa, Mazaya Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat and Gulf Warehousing this week.
Nevertheless, Ezdan, Al Khaliji, Qatar Islamic Insurance, Doha Bank and Masraf Al Rayan were among the gainers during the week.
Non-Qatari institutions’ net profit booking strengthened to QR62.04mn from QR2.07mn the previous week.
Local individual investors were net sellers to the tune of QR48.51mn against net buyers of QR21.29mn the week ended April 27.
Non-Qatari individual investors also net sold QR1.3mn worth equities compared with QR2.07mn net buying the week ago.
However, domestic funds net bought QR111.85mn worth scrips against QR21.4mn net profit booking the week ended April 27.
Total trade volume rose 14% to 51.42mn shares, value by 13% to QR1.3bn and transactions by less than 1% to 16,016 this week.
The insurance sector’s trade volume almost quadrupled to 0.9mn equities and value more than doubled to QR44.08mn on mere 6% rise in deals to 359.
There was 47% surge in the consumer goods sector’s trade volume to 2.24mn stocks, 7% in value to QR109.61mn and 7% in transactions to 1,809.
The industrials sector’s trade volume shot up 38% to 3.78mn shares and value by 27% to QR199.86mn, while deals were down 4% to 3,829.
The real estate sector reported 36% expansion in trade volume to 15.11mn equities, 22% in value to QR243.48mn and 19% in transactions to 2,552.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume grew 11% to 14.88mn stocks and value by 19% to QR504.31mn, whereas deals fell 2% to 5,153.
However, the market witnessed 42% plunge in the transport sector’s trade volume to 1.61mn shares, 36% in value to QR51mn and 15% in transactions to 957.
The telecom sector’s trade volume was down 3% to 12.9mn equities, value by 12% to QR148.28mn and deals by 8% to 1,357.