The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) lost a sizeable 422 points in its key barometer and QR23bn in capitalisation on an across-the-board selling, especially in the real estate and telecom counters this week.
Higher net selling by foreign institutions and substantially weakened buying interests of their domestic counterparts dragged the market this week, which saw the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say the direct economic and financial impact of the diplomatic rift between Qatar and some regional neighbours is fading.
Notwithstanding the higher buying support from local and non-Qatari individuals, the 20-stock Qatar Index plunged 4.83% this week which also saw IMF forecast Qatar's gross domestic product to grow 2.6% this year and then average 2.7% during 2019-23.
Islamic stocks were seen declining slower than the main index this week which saw IMF view that Qatar’s banking system needs no further support from the central bank and sovereign wealth fund as the decline in lenders’ non-resident liabilities have abated.
About 82% of the traded stocks were in the red this week which witnessed the debut of the Gulf region’s largest exchange traded fund (QETF) through which its founder Doha Bank is expecting $2bn to $5bn inflows from global investors.
Profit booking was squarely visible within large and midcap segments this week which saw QSE Director (Product and Market Development) Mohsin Mujtaba say four more exchange traded funds (ETFs) are in the anvil.
The Total Return Index shed 3.56%, Al Rayan Islamic Index by 3.57% and All Share Index by 3.72% this week which saw Doha Bank shareholders approve a board proposal to issue bonds up to $2bn under Euro Medium Term Note programme.
The realty index plunged 5.97%, telecom (4.81%), industrials (4.2%), banks and financial services (3.3%), consumer goods (2.79%), insurance (2.03%) and transport (1.03%) this week which saw Milaha inaugurates the first phase of its 400,000sqm logistics city.
The banking, industrials and telecom stocks accounted for more than 80% of the total trading volume this week which witnessed London Stock Exchange entity FTSE Russell add Milaha in its Qatar index, replacing Qatar Insurance Company.
The banks and financial services sector accounted for 34% of the total volume, industrials (25%), telecom (22%), realty (11%), transport (4%), and consumer goods and insurance (2% each) this week which saw a total of 111,786 QETFs valued at QR9.8mn trade across 279 deals.
The banks and financial services’ share in total trade turnover was 37%, industrials (24%), telecom (12%), real estate (9%), consumer goods and transport (7% each), and insurance (2%) this week which saw Ahlibank enter into a bancassurance agreement with Qatar General Insurance and Re-Insurance Company.
The top five losers were Vodafone Qatar, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Doha Bank, Industries Qatar and Ezdan; while the top losers were Ahlibank, Doha Insurance, Zad Holding, Qatar Islamic Insurance and Milaha this week.
Non-Qatari funds’ net profit booking strengthened to QR79.37mn compared to QR75.45mn a week ago.
Domestic institutions’ net buying weakened substantially to QR14.18mn against QR64.1mn the week ended March 1.
However, local retail investors’ net buying soared profoundly to QR51.84mn compared to QR0.36mn a week ago.
Non-Qatari individuals’ net buying grew perceptibly to QR13.44mn against QR11.11mn the previous week.
Total trade volume fell 22% to 39.87mn shares, value by 38% to QR742.66mn and transactions by 21% to 14,563.
The real estate sector reported 56% plunge in trade volume to 4.35mn equities, 66% in value to QR68.23mn and 33% in deals to 2,096.
The consumer goods sector’s trade volume plummeted 49% to 0.87mn stocks, value by 54% to QR54.11mn and transactions by 41% to 925.
The market witnessed 32% shrinkage in the telecom sector’s trade volume to 8.69mn shares, 33% in value to QR91.67mn and 39% in deals to 1,976.
The insurance sector’s trade volume tanked 21% to 0.81mn equities, value by 28% to QR29.8mn and transactions by 11% to 790.
The banks and financial services sector saw 13% decline in trade volume to 13.54mn stocks, 32% in value to QR272.18mn and 13% in deals to 4,718.
However, the transport sector’s trade volume soared 21% to 1.79mn shares, value by 7% to QR49.37mn and transactions by 37% to 1,164.
There was 11% increase in the industrials sector’s trade volume to 9.82mn equities but on 33% slump in value to QR177.31mn and 15% in deals to 2,894.