QE index slumps to 8-month low, closes at 8,316
DOHA DOHA’S index slumped to an eight-month low as foreign institutions cut their investments in Qatar stocks due to a lack of shortterm catalysts.
Heavyweight stocks were the main drags as Qatar National bank and Industries Qatar declined 0.6 and 1 percent, respectively.
The index dropped 0.3 percent to 8,316 points, its lowest finish since October 10.
“Qatar has been missing a nearterm catalyst,” said Ibrahim Masood, senior investment officer at Mashreq Bank in Dubai.
“The thing that stands out is how off-shore investors have been selling out of Qatar, which is a pretty big turnaround from being the most favoured Gulf market.” Masood said this change in foreign investors’ strategy is in part due to expectations Qatar’s economic growth will slow over the next few years, before infrastructure spending for the 2022 World Cup begins in earnest.
Some institutions may also have exited Qatar to chase bigger gains in other markets, he added.
Qatar’s economy is forecast to grow 6.6 percent in 2012 and 5 percent in 2013, according to a Reuters poll in March. This compares with an estimated 17.5 percent expansion in 2011.
Improved global sentiment helped Dubai’s index end higher for a third day since Monday’s four-month low, with this close correlation to international events expected to remain over the summer trading lull.
World shares are at week-highs on signs policymakers in Europe are taking urgent action to help stem Spain’s banking crisis.
This optimism led Dubai investors to target small-cap stocks as National Central Cooling (Tabreed) climbs 2.6 percent, Gulf Navigation rose 2 percent and property firm Deyaar added 0.3 percent. This trio accounted for nearly half of all shares traded, yet have a combined market value of less than $810 million.