Local retail investors resorted to profit-booking, dragging down the Qatar Exchange yesterday. Micro cap equities largely felt the pressure as the 20-stock QE Index (based on price data) fell 0.20% to 8,608.05 points. The market is, however, up 2.98% year-to-date.
The 20-stock Total Return Index also fell 0.20% to 11,649.80 points and the All Share Index (comprising wider constituents) by 0.07% to 2,072.23 points even as the Al Rayan Islamic Index rose 0.12% to 2,527.48 points. All the three indices factored in dividend income as well.
Under the All Share Index category, the telecom index shrank 0.79%, followed by transport (0.59%), banks and financial services (0.27%) and realty (0.23%); while insurance gained 1.41%, consumer goods 0.66% and industrials were up 0.25%.
Among the major losers were Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Masraf Al Rayan, Qatari Investors Group, United Development Company, Vodafone Qatar, Qatar Telecom and Nakilat; even as Doha Bank, Commercialbank (Cb) and Industries Qatar bucked the trend.
Market capitalisation was down 0.11%, or QR54mn, to QR473.14bn with micro, large and small cap equities notably losing 1.63%, 0.37% and 0.16% respectively. Mid caps rose 0.60%.
Of the 42 stocks, only 13 advanced, while 21 declined, five were unchanged and three were not traded.
Qatari individual investors turned net sellers to the tune of 8.76% or QR29.40mn. A lower 34.79% of them purchased equities compared to 39.53% on Sunday, but a higher 43.55% sold against 35.38%.
Non-Qatari retail investors’ net selling rose to 2.31% or QR7.75mn. A higher 11.49% of them were into buying against 8.77% the previous day and a higher 13.80% compared to 10.63%.
Domestic institutions turned net buyers to the extent of 0.14% or QR0.47mn. A lower 19.42% of them were into buying against 22.71% on Sunday but a much lower 19.28% of them into selling compared to 30.67%.
Foreign institutions’ net buying surged to 10.93% or QR36.68mn. A higher 34.30% of them bought equities compared to 28.99% the previous day, although a marginally higher 23.37% offloaded against 23.31%.
Total trading volume more than doubled to 6.05mn shares, so did value to QR335.57mn on an 80% jump in deals to 3,858.
The real estate sector’s trading volume tripled to 0.33mn shares and value almost tripled to QR6.75mn on a 66% rise in transactions to 136.
The banks and financial services sector’s trading volume more than doubled to 3.96mn shares and value almost tripled to QR237.40mn as deals more than doubled to 2,287.
The consumer goods and services sector’s trading volume surged 64% to 0.36mn shares, while value fell 21% to QR24.38mn but transactions were up 8% to 351.
The transport sector’s trading volume soared 64% to 0.54mn shares and value more than doubled to QR18.04mn on an 80% gain in deals to 351.
The industrials sector’s trading volume shot up 64% to 0.36mn shares, value by 57% to QR32.92mn and transactions by 82% to 458.
The telecom sector’s trading volume expanded 17% to 0.49mn shares, while value fell 11% to QR15.10mn and deals by 22% to 252.
However, the insurance sector’s trading volume tanked 33% to 0.02mn shares, value by 47% to QR0.98mn and transactions by 43% to 23.
Actively traded stocks (in terms of volume) were Doha Bank (1.14mn shares); Cb (716,279); Rayan (589,481); QIB (525,635) and Vodafone Qatar (380,811).
In the debt market, there was no trading of treasury bills.
Sorouh surges on merger deal; most markets fall
Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh Real Estate jumped to a 25-month high yesterday after the company reached a long-awaited merger agreement with Aldar Properties , but most regional markets fell.
Trading volumes for both Sorouh and Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s two biggest property developers, hit record highs. Both stocks had more than doubled in price over the past year in anticipation of the merger, and while the terms of the deal looked positive for Sorouh shareholders, they prompted heavy profit-taking in Aldar.
Sorouh jumped 4.3% to close at 1.70 dirhams, its highest level since December 2010; they hit a high of 1.87 dirhams in early trade. Aldar plunged 9.8%.
Sorouh shareholders will receive 1.288 Aldar shares for every share in Sorouh, which will be delisted once the merger, which is subject to shareholder approval, is completed, the companies said yesterday.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark slipped 0.1%, easing from Sunday’s 26-month high.
Dubai’s measure shed 0.3% to end at 1,786 points, down from Sunday’s 32-month closing high, after the index tested and failed on Sunday to break major chart resistance between 1,778 points, the 2012 high hit in March last year, and the October 2010 peak of 1,793 points.
Trading volumes were thin, however, which may suggest that many investors are unwilling to sell because they think the resistance could be broken in coming days or weeks.
Major property developer Emaar Properties rose 2.1% to a fresh multi-year high, however, after the Al Ittihad newspaper quoted UAE central bank governor Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi as saying authorities would not impose limits on mortgage lending without consulting commercial banks, and that any new rules were not imminent.
His remarks appeared to show the central bank, after fierce protests from commercial banks, was backing away from caps on residential mortgage lending that it announced just weeks ago. There was no confirmation of the report.
In Saudi Arabia, weak earnings soured sentiment, dragging the market to its lowest in nearly three weeks.
Shares in Saudi Telecom plunged 7.7% to 40.6 riyals per share, the lowest price since last November. STC reported a 79% fall in fourth-quarter profit yesterday.
Zain Saudi slipped 1.8%. The firm posted a fourth-quarter net loss that narrowed 4% but still missed analysts’ average forecast.
“The improvement in net losses in Q4 is mainly due to the lower financial charges. We remain cautious on the stock,” NCB Capital said in a note.
“Longer term, the company’s main challenge remains growth in top-line. Due to a weak balance sheet, we believe Zain’s capex investment remains behind the levels necessary to be able to effectively compete with STC and Mobily.”
Saudi Industrial Investment Group dipped 1.7% to 22.7 riyals after posting a fourth-quarter net profit of 28.5mn riyals, up 506% year-on-year. SIIG said in a bourse filing that it would conduct shutdowns at both its projects in Jubail due to technical problems, the impact of which would hit first-quarter earnings.
“Our 2013 earnings per share estimate has been revised down by -28% to 2.21 riyals while our target price drops from 29 to 26 riyals,” Riyad Capital said in a note, adding it was downgrading the stock to ‘hold’.
The kingdom’s index fell 1.0%.
In Egypt, the benchmark slipped to its lowest close since January 2, down 0.8%, as retail investors in particular sold ahead of a weekend that may see unrest.
Tensions are rising ahead of the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising due on January 25, which is expected to trigger protests against new President Mohamed Mursi and his Islamist allies.
“Investors are selling ahead of the stressful weekend protests are expected to hit the streets,” says Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities.
Elsewhere, Kuwait’s index climbed 0.2% to 6,173 points; Oman’s index advanced 0.3% to 5,829 points, while Bahrain’s index fell 0.6% to 1,074 points.
Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times
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