QSE plunges 582 points as oil price drop hit Gulf bourses
January 15 2016 07:16 PM
With a capitalisation of $193bn, the QSE is the second largest bourse in the GCC after Saudi Arabia’

By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter

The oil price plunge to less than $30 a barrel has had a cascading effect on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), the second worst performer among the Gulf bourses, as it lost a sizeable 582 points in key index and more than QR30bn in capitalisation during the week.

Foreign institutions were increasingly net profit takers during the week that however saw QNB report an 8% jump in net profit in 2015.

Global oil prices remained at 12-year low mainly on concerns on Iran output to flood the market, which already has weak demand, especially on growth concerns in China.

Iran had said its exports would rise by 1mn barrels a day within six months of sanctions being lifted.

More than 93% of the stocks were in the red during the week which saw Qatar's cost of living, based on consumer price index, jump 2.7% year-on-year in December.

An across the board selling – particularly in the consumer goods, banking, transport and industrials – led the 20-stock Qatar Index plummet 5.96% during the week that witnessed Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Qatar Development Bank team up to offer a  new ‘Al Dhameen’ portfolio programme, enabling further expansion of small and medium enterprises financing in the country.

In comparison, Saudi Arabia shrank 6.62%, Dubai (5.09%), Muscat (4.71%), Abu Dhabi (4.35%), Kuwait (3.82%) and Bahrain (0.06%) during the week which saw Moody's, an international credit rating agency, say Qatar may witness higher government debt levels as it seeks to bridge the fiscal deficit through debt issuances in the local and international markets.

QSE has fallen 11.93% year-to-date against 15.53% in Saudi Arabia, 10.65% in Dubai, 8.18% in Abu Dhabi, 6.22% in Kuwait, 5.43% in Muscat and 1.23% in Bahrain.

Opening the week weak at 9,674 points, the market kept falling throughout the five-day sessions with precipitous declines on Tuesday and Thursday, and thus its index settle at a new 27-month low of 9,185 points.

Selling was seen intense particularly in the large, small and micro cap equities during the week which saw an expansion of total trade turnover.

However, domestic institutions turned bullish and there was increased net buying by local retail investors during the week which saw overall trade volumes shrank.

The index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks was seen melting faster than the other indices during the week which witnessed the banking, industrials and realty sectors account for more than 77% of the total trading volume.

The 20-stock Total Return Index plunged 5.96%, All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 6.05% and Al Rayan Islamic Index by 6.89% during the week which saw Gulf International Services (GIS) and Masraf Al Rayan dominate the trading ring in terms of volume and value.

Consumer goods nosedived 10.27%, banks and financial services (6.68%), transport (6.52%), industrials (5.96%), telecom (5.71%), real estate (4.4%) and insurance (2.56%) during the week.

Market capitalisation eroded 5.86% to QR489.93bn with large, small, micro and mid cap equities melting 6.37%, 6.17%, 6.07% and 5.82% respectively during the week.

Micro, large, mid and small cap stocks have fallen year-to-date 12.32%, 12.28%, 10.92% and 10.47% respectively.

Of the 43 stocks, 40 declined, while only three advanced. As many as 11 of the 12 banks and financial services; all of the nine industrials, the eight consumer goods, the four  realty, the three transport and the two telecom; and three of the five insurers closed lower during the week.

Major losers included QNB, Industries Qatar, QIB, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Aamal Company, Gulf International Services, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Mazaya Qatar, Barwa, United Development Company, Ezdan, Vodafone Qatar, Ooredoo, Nakilat, Milaha, Dlala and Alijarah Holding; even as Doha Insurance and Qatar Islamic Insurance bucked the trend during the week.

Foreign institutions’ net profit booking strengthened considerably to QR226.14mn against QR14.13mn the week ended January 7.

Non-Qatari retail investors’ net buying declined to QR14.15mn compared to QR22.02mn the previous week.

However, domestic institutions turned net buyers to the extent of QR49.12mn against net sellers of QR69.23mn the week ended January 7.

Local retail investors’ net buying increased substantially to QR162.88mn compared to QR61.34mn the previous week.

Total trade volume rose 50% to 27.89mn shares, value by 60% to QR1.15bn and transactions by 30% to 17,512 during the week.

The consumer goods sector’s trade volume more than doubled to 2.37mn equities and value also more than doubled to QR93.75mn on almost doubled deals to 1,810.

The banks and financial services sector reported 84% surge in trade volume to 8.72mn stocks, 78% in value to QR490.37mn and 37% in transactions to 5,650.

The industrials sector’s trade volume soared 64% to 6.57mn shares, value by 65% to QR325.19mn and deals by 25% to 4,091.

There was 41% expansion in the real estate sector’s trade volume to 6.19mn equities, 46% in value to QR133.88mn and 35% in transactions to 2,865.

The transport sector’s trade volume shot up 30% to 1.56mn stocks, value by 41% to QR45.35mn and deals by 64% to 835.

However, the insurance sector saw 44% plunge in trade volume to 0.18mn shares, 45% in value to QR11.46mn and 29% in transactions to 243.

The telecom sector’s trade volume shrank 17% to 2.3mn equities, value by 20% to QR50.27mn and deals by 5% to 2,018.

In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills and government bonds during the week.

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