Doha: Qatar Exchange pursued its upswing trend yesterday by adding 21.93 points, or 0.19 percent, to advance to 11,331.46 points from 11,309.53 on Tuesday.
The volume of the shares traded up to 16,732,413 from 15,656,428 on Tuesday and the value of shares increased to QR716,879,112.60 from QR642,170,175.46.
Among the top gainers was Qatar Islamic Bank, which was up 0.83 percent to QR73 after saying it was in talks to buy a “strategic stake” in Turkey’s Bank Asya.
General Insurance gained 3.63 percent to QR41.45, Vodafone Qatar added 0.08 percent to QR11.96 and Barwa Real Estate was up by 1.54 percent to QR36.30.
The banking and financial sector index rose 0.17 percent while consumer goods and services sector index lost 0.21 percent. The industrial sector added 0.33 percent while insurance sector was down 0.12 percent.
Elsewhere in the region, banks and property stocks lifted Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s markets, while other regional bourses were little moved.
Dubai’s bourse added 0.9 percent as Emaar Properties and contractor Arabtec Holding rose 0.8 and 2.8 percent respectively.
Investment bank Shuaa Capital was the top gainer, surging
14.7 percent on bets it may benefit from an expected increase in initial public offerings in the
United Arab Emirates. Shuua’s trading volume was its largest of 2014.
The UAE government has indicated it will soon approve a long-awaited companies law that analysts hope will cut the minimum free float in IPOs to 30 percent from 55 percent at present.
Many family-owned businesses have been unwilling to lose majority control so reducing the minimum free float should encourage more firms to list. The current rules have led some companies to instead look to list abroad.
“There are rumours about more and more IPOs coming back to the market and for Shuaa it’s their core business,” says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
Some market participants said those buying Shuaa yesterday were betting it would win a mandate to run the $2.5bn listing of Emaar’s shopping mall unit.
Shares in Shuaa Capital have lagged the wider market’s recovery and at Dh1.25 after the rally are still trading at less than an eighth of their 2008 high.
Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.8 percent to 4,853 points. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and developer Aldar Peoperties climbed 2.2 and 5.3 percent respectively.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) fell 4 percent, declining for a second day since the company reported a 2013 net loss and proposed no dividend payout.
State-run Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco) gained 3.1 percent after announcing plans to buy back a third of outstanding bonds due in 2020, using excess liquidity from a scrapped acquisition to lower its debt servicing costs.
Oman’s bourse suffered from a technical glitch for a second day but managed to resolve it before the end of the session. Its index fell 0.2 percent.
The Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.2 percent to close at 9,450 points yesterday.
The Kuwait index rose 0.1 percent to reach 7,592 points and the Bahrain index fell 0.1 percent to close at 1,355 points yesterday. The Egypt index eased 0.3 percent to close at 8,481 points yesterday.QNA & Reuters