By Sachin Kumar
Doha: Investors’ wealth on the Qatari bourse surged by a whopping QR95.72bn ($26.3bn) in 2013 with the valuation of stocks on Qatar Exchange (QE) rising 20.8 percent to QR555.6bn ($150.7 bn) at the end of the year from QR459.9bn ($124.7bn) at the end of 2012.
The main index of QE rose 23 percent during 2013 rising 1,931 points to 10,379.6 at the end of December 31 from 8449 on January 2, which was the first trading day of 2013.
A year before, in 2012, the stock market gave negative returns to the investors as Qatar Exchange index had witnessed a fall of two percent. The benchmark index had declined to 8,636 on December 31, 2012 from 8,829 on January 2, showing a drop of 193 points.
Stocks of telecom and transportation companies emerged as the highest gainers in 2013, which rose 37 percent during the year. Transportation index rose to 1858 at the end of December 2013 from 1357 on January 2 while Telecom Index jumped to 1,454 at the end of December from 1,062 at the beginning of this year. Industrial index rose 32 percent to 3500 at the end of December from 2662 at the beginning of 2013.
During the year real estate index rose 20 percent to 1,953 at the end of December from 1,625 at the beginning of January while Consumer Goods Index increased 26 percent to 5,948 at the end of December from 4,723 at the start of the 2013.
Shares of insurance companies came last in terms of giving returns to the investors. The insurance index rose 19 percent to 2,336 at the end of December from 1,972 at the beginning of the year.
The rally in the Qatar stock markets was in line with gains witnessed in major financial markets which rose on the back easy money available due to the continuation of easy money policy by the US Federal Reserve.
The US central bank, during 2013, continued its $85bn monthly bond buying programme which is also known as Quantitative Easing.
Apart from the domestic factors, the direction of Qatar stock market in 2014 will also depend on the pace of tapering of bond buying programme.
The US central bank has already announced that it would start winding down its bond buying programme in January by $10bn per month. If the US Fed decides to further cut down bond buying purchases during 2014, it would adversely impact the investors’ sentiments.