DOHA: Qatar’s benchmark index rose 1.54 percent, its biggest one-day gain in six weeks, to hit a 67-month high yesterday. Market cap rose to QR614bn from the previous session’s QR604bn.
Qatar Exchange added 177.97 points to advance to 11,724.20 points yesterday from 11,546.23 on Sunday.
The volume of the shares traded fell to 16 million from the previous trading session’s 19 million and the value of shares increased to QR1.13bn from QR778m.
Among the top gainers were Industries Qatar which was up 7.40 percent to QR193.10, Commercial Bank gained 0.41 percent to QR74.10, Electricity and Water added 2.63 percent to QR191.20 and Ooredoo was up by 2.42 percent to QR152.10.
Industries Qatar surged to a nine-year high as a surprise hike in dividends attracted buyers even though the firm’s fourth-quarter profit trailed estimates. Shares in the metals and petrochemicals conglomerate jumped 7.4 percent to QR193.10, their highest since April 2005.
Five out of seven indices ended in green, with industrial sector surging to 4.46 percent, while banks and real estates shed 0.20 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively. The consumer goods and services sector index up 0.49 points, while insurance sector rose 0.21 points.
Dividends in the Gulf region have helped boost share prices more than positive earnings and in IQ’s case, even offset weak earnings.
Elsewhere in the region, Strong dividend and bonus share payouts by Saudi Arabian banks have also spurred investor confidence in recent weeks but the index slipped 0.3 percent in profit-taking yesterday.
Petrochemical sector was the main culprit. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) shed 0.9 percent and the sector’s index lost 0.8 percent.
Banking shares index was little changed after gaining 5.7 percent so far in 2014.
In the United Arab Emirates, bourses were mixed with Dubai extending gains as the index climbed 0.8 percent to a new five-year high, boosted by a renewed real estate and tourism boom in the emirate.
Shares in Emaar Properties advanced 1.2 percent ahead of the firm posting estimate-beating fourth-quarter profit, which surged 48 percent.
Shares in telecommunications firm du and budget carrier Air Arabia also gained as investors made their bets before the announcement of fourth-quarter results.
Abu Dhabi’s measure slipped 0.2 percent after touching a multi-year intraday high of 4,920 points.
In Egypt, the index ended flat at 7,577 points, while the Oman index retreated 0.4 percent to 7,151 points.
The Kuwait index slipped 0.5 percent to 7,794 points, while the Bahrain index rose 0.7 percent to 1,333 points.