Q1 earnings hopes boost capitalisation by QR8bn

31/03/2012 08:07 AST  Gulf Times

The first-quarter earnings outlook helped the Qatar Exchange (QE) gain QR8bn in capitalisation as about 67% of the stocks extended gains to investors in the week that otherwise saw other Gulf peers largely in the negative terrain.

Institutional (both domestic and foreign) purchases lifted the 20-stock benchmark by 1.59% in the week that witnessed Muscat bourse report a 4.49% fall, followed by Kuwait (1.26%), Dubai (0.69%) and Abu Dhabi (0.60%), even as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain gained 3.22% and 0.37% respectively.

Investors largely scouted for industrials and services equities as the benchmark settled 137 points higher to touch a two-month high of 8,790.73 points in the week that saw Mannai Corporation and EFG Hermes make a cash bid to acquire Damas, a leading jewellery and watch dealer in the Middle East and North Africa.

So far, QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Doha Insurance, United Development Company, National Leasing and Mazaya Qatar have announced their board meetings to discuss January-March financial results.

Year-to-date (YTD), Doha’s bourse is up 0.13% vis-à-vis Dubai’s stupendous 21.83% gain, followed by Saudi Arabia (21.27%), Abu Dhabi (6.27%), Kuwait (6.03%) and Bahrain (0.77%), while Muscat fell 0.09%.

Major gainers in the QE were Commercialbank, Masraf Al Rayan, Doha Bank, Industries Qatar (IQ), Al Khalij Holding, Qatar Electricity and Water, Dlala, Aamal Company and Al Meera.

Qatar Telecom (Qtel), QIB, Gulf Warehousing, Gulf International Services (GIS) and Mazaya Qatar buck the trend in the week that saw Qtel’s plan to launch 4G mobile services by the second half of this year.

Maximum buying was seen in the insurance sector, whose group index surged 3.52%, followed by industrials (2.75%), services (2.33%) and banks (0.82%) in the week that saw GIS disclose that it will acquire Amwaj Catering Services Company for QR353.1mn in cash from Qatar Petroleum.

The indices of insurance, industrials and services have gained YTD 13.89%, 6.98% and 4.95% respectively; while lenders have dropped 4.24%.

Of the 42 stocks; 28 advanced, while 12 declined and one was unchanged. Another one was not traded in the week that saw QInvest, in which QIB is a majority shareholder, hinting at a possible alliance with EFG Hermes to create one of the largest investment banks in the Arab world.

Five of the eight banks, four of the five insurers, six the seven industrials and 13 of the 22 services closed higher in the week that featured an Alpen Capital study, which gave an optimistic outlook on the Qatari residential as well as commercial office construction market on the back of healthy growth in population and increasing economic activity in the country.

Market capitalisation shot up 1.75% to QR463.35bn with micro, large, small and mid equities gaining 3.44%, 1.94%, 0.96% and 0.80% respectively in the review week which saw a Standard Chartered bank estimate that QR95bn projects are set to be awarded in Qatar in the remaining three quarters of this year.

Micro and small cap stocks have gained 7.59% and 3.11% YTD, whereas large and mid caps shrank 3.07% and 0.01% respectively.

Domestic institutions were increasingly bullish amidst their higher exposure as net buying rose to 5.51% from 3.79% the previous week.

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