Qatar’s robust financial package boosts investor sentiments
March 21 2020 01:38 AM
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Domestic institutions were increasingly net buyers this week which saw the QSE invoke its crisis management plan to reassure its members, issuers and investors that it is committed to providing “unrestricted” access to the market, and would continue to operate as normal throughout this uncertain period. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

The government’s robust financial package to the private sector, in view of the challenges posed by the global pandemic Covid-19, bolstered the sentiments in the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which closed 346 points higher this week.
Domestic institutions were increasingly net buyers this week which saw the QSE invoke its crisis management plan to reassure its members, issuers and investors that it is committed to providing “unrestricted” access to the market, and would continue to operate as normal throughout this uncertain period.
Foreign funds’ weakened net profit booking pressure also had its role in the market this week which saw Mazaya Real Estate Development get approval from the Qatar Financial Market Authority to buyback upto 37.5mn shares.
The telecom, banks and transport counters witnessed higher than average demand this week which saw Doha Bank shareholders approve the board’s proposal to raise up to $1bn capital from the debt/equity markets.
Local retail investors’ strong net selling pressure notwithstanding, the 20-stock Qatar Index shot up 4.21% this week which saw Qatar report robust year-on-year expansion, especially in basic metals and beverages output, amid an overall fall in the industrial production in January this year.
The overall bullish momentum came in the wake of the QR75bn financial package announced for the private sector and another QR10bn fund infusion into the QSE in view of the challenges posed by the pandemic Covid-19.
The market had touched a high of 8,661 points on Wednesday, after which it was mildly on the profit booking mode in the last session of this week which saw no trading of sovereign bonds and treasury bills.
More than 53% of the traded constituents extended gains with major movers being Ooredoo, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank, Industries Qatar, Medicare Group, Aamal Company, Qatar Insurance, Barwa, Mazaya Qatar, Vodafone Qatar, Nakilat and Milaha this week which saw as many as 129,848 Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored exchange traded funds QATR valued at QR254,668 change hands across 31 transactions.
Trade turnover grew amidst lower volumes this week which saw 6,120 Doha Bank-sponsored QETF worth QR53,205 traded across seven deals.
Market capitalisation saw about QR28bn, or 6.05% increase, to QR489.15bn mainly lifted by large and small cap segments this week which saw the Qatar Central Bank reduce key benchmark rate, in line with the policy of the US Federal Reserve.
Islamic stocks were seen declining vis-a-vis gains in the other indices this week which saw Doha Bank group chief executive Dr R Seetharman saying that Qatar’s strong economy can withstand the challenges posed by the Covid-19 as its reserves are twice the gross domestic product and has recurring earnings from the long-term liquefied natural gas contracts.
The Total Return Index shot up 5.11% and the All Share Index by 6.11%; while the Al Rayyan Islamic Index was down 0.04% this week which saw real estate and banking sectors together constitute about 60% of total trading volume.
The telecom index soared 10.47%, banks and financial services (8.75%), transport (7.39%), consumer goods and services (1.95%), insurance (1.38%) and realty (1.16%); while industrials was down 0.04% this week.
Domestic institutions’ net buying increased significantly to QR234.54mn compared to QR177.47mn the previous week.
Foreign institutions’ net profit booking weakened considerably to QR119.03mn against QR299.87mn a week ago.
However, local retail investors turned net sellers to the tune of QR115.04mn compared with net buyers of QR109.44mn the previous week.
Non-Qataris were also net sellers to the extent of QR50.24mn against net buyers of QR19.17mn the previous week.
Total trading volume fell 5% to 852.15mn shares, whereas value grew 14% to QR2.35bn and transactions by 15% to 54,263.
The consumer goods sector saw a 26% plunge in trade volume to 97.84mn equities, 29% in value to QR235.65mn and 26% in deals to 5,258.
The transport sector’s trade volume plummeted 18% to 39.45mn stocks, value by 15% to QR90.77mn and transactions by 21% to 1,879.
There was a 12% contraction in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 141.89mn shares but on a 27% jump in value to QR337.01mn and 22% in deals to 10,079.
The real estate sector’s trade volume was down 1% to 299.72mn equities, while value rose 20% to QR281.23mn and transactions by 29% to 8,463.
However, the insurance sector reported a 27% surge in trade volume to 27.97mn stocks, 19% in value to QR55.07mn and a 21% jump in deals to 1,831.
The banks and financial services sector’s trade volume grew 6% to 203.29mn shares, value by 26% to QR1.22bn and transactions by 24% to 22,070.
The market witnessed a 6% increase in the telecom sector’s trade volume to 41.98mn equities, 16% in value to QR125.68mn and 35% in deals to 5,043.



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