DOHA: Qatar Exchange extended the rally lifting its 20-stock benchmark index to a 52-week high yesterday. Driven by the buying interests of local retail investors, the index closed 1.13 percent higher at 10,664 points with the market cap growing by QR5bn to reach QR566bn from last trading session’s QR561bn.
The Trading value stood at QR503m compared to last session’s QRR330m. Of the 40 companies traded, 26 advanced and 11 fell yesterday.
All the sector indices entered the green territory. The Banks and Financial Services and the Insurance indices outperformed other sectors. While the Banks and Financial Services sector gained 1.10 percent; the Insurance sector gained 1.42 percent.
Industrials stocks advanced 0.63 percent and real estate 0.52 percent. Telecom and Transportation indices appreciated 1.21 percent and 1.39 percent respectively.
Among the top gainers were The Investors, Al Ahli, Rayan, Qatar Navigation and Gulf International. Investors advanced 9.89 percent and Al Ahli by 3.64 percent. Rayan, Qatar Navigation and Gulf International edged 3.38 percent, 3.43 percent and 2.95 percent respectively.
Doha Bank rose 2.04 percent and International Islamic was up by 2.25 percent. Ezdan gained 2.35 percent.
Qatar German Company, Vodafone Qatar, Dlala and Electricity and Water were the top losers.
QE performance reflects the renewed investor confidence in the country’s economy and market, analysts noted.
Menanwhile, momentum driving markets in the United Arab Emirates was tempered yesterday after the regulator approved changes to margin lending rules and said it would crackdown on unlicensed lending, while most other regional bourses scaled higher.
Dubai’s index slipped 0.2 percent, easing off Thursday’s five-year high.
The market gave back early-session gains as brokers told clients to sell shares so margin limits would fall within the amended regulations.
Although changes to the lending rules aim to improve trading volumes going forward, the likelihood of penalties for not complying with the set limits sent some brokers scrambling to lower margin levels.
Most of the trading on Dubai’s bourse was on margin, which is now being cut back, traders said.
“Today, margin trading business from what we can see in volumes is low,” said Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director of Abu Dhabi Financial Services. “This is for the short-term as brokers will raise their capital to allow for more leverage.”
Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.6 percent, in its fifth consecutive gain, to a new five-year high.
Banks supported, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank up 3.5 percent and Union National Bank 3.9 percent higher. Analysts expect Abu Dhabi lenders to announce strong dividends in the coming weeks.
In Egypt, Cairo’s benchmark index added 0.6 percent to 6,854 points, heading back to the previous peak of 6,876 points — the intraday high of December 26.
The market gained despite fresh violence over the weekend.
Thirteen people were shot dead as supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with police across Egypt on Friday, defying an ever-widening state crackdown on the movement that ruled the country until six months ago.
“We expect to see more and more violence from the supporters but the market has been quite resilient as people look forward to the constitutional voting in mid-January,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities. “The question is not if to buy but whether to buy before or after the referendum.”
The priority for investors is to see the country move along a set roadmap to restore full civilian rule.
Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s measure struggled to make gains but closed up 0.2 percent. Oman ticked up 0.1 percent, while Kuwait’s benchmark was little changed.