QE index rebounds, adds 70.96 points

June 19, 2014 - 12:06:55 am

Doha: Qatar Exchange index gained 70.96 points, or 0.57 percent, yesterday to advance to 12,591.32 points from 12,520.36 on Tuesday. 

The volume of the shares traded fell to 8,500,251 from 19,671,102 on Tuesday and the value of shares decreased to QR496,126,315.82 from QR913,986,196.42 on Tuesday.

Among the top gainers were Qatar National Bank which was up 3.27 percent to QR183, Electricity and Water gained 1.36 percent to QR186, Doha Bank added 3.09 percent to QR60 and Gulf International up by 2.20 percent to QR92.80.

Meanwhile, most stock markets in the region rebounded yesterday after an Iraq-related sell-off ended, although stocks directly exposed to the country continued to suffer. Dubai’s Arabtec rose after its chief executive resigned.

The gains by insurgents in Iraq triggered a run on global and regional equities earlier this week that dragged down most stocks in the Gulf. However, the selling subsided on Tuesday, and yesterday most bourses in the region edged up, though trading volumes were modest.

Abu Dhabi’s bourse led gains, rising 0.7 percent on the back of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which jumped 4.3 percent.

The stock was hit hard by profit-taking this month after posting sustained gains in the run-up to its inclusion, along with 18 other companies from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, in MSCI’s emerging market index at the end of May.

Saudi Arabia’s index also rose 0.7 percent, buoyed by blue-chip banks, petrochemicals and developers.

Companies with direct exposure to Iraq underperformed, however. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Dana Gas, both of which have operations in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, fell 0.9 and 1.3 percent respectively.

Zain Kuwait fell 1.5 percent and Qatar’s Ooredoo was down 2.1 percent. Both mobile phone operators get a considerable part of their revenues from Iraq; Zain shares topped traded value in Kuwait, weighing on the index, which fell 1.6 percent.

Dubai construction firm Arabtec continued to dominate trading on the emirate’s main bourse as, late in the session, the company said its chief executive Hasan Ismaik had resigned.

The move followed a plunge in the company’s share price this month and a decision by Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments, a major shareholder, to cut its stake in Arabtec to 18.94 percent from 21.57 percent.

The sale prompted speculation that there was a rift between Ismaik and Aabar management. Ismaik himself has denied that, while Aabar declined to comment. Support from Aabar is important for Arabtec’s ambitious expansion plans, which are in part based on large contracts that Aabar steered its way.

Market reaction to Ismaik’s departure shows investors hope the company will stabilise and there will be less volatility in the shareholder structure, said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.

However, by the late afternoon Arabtec had not issued a statement explaining the resignation or discussing its post-Ismaik strategy, so considerable uncertainty remained.

QNA/Reuters

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