Qatar Exchange index gains 42.71 points

September 03, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

Doha: Qatar Exchange index gained 42.71 points, or 0.31 percent, when the bourse closed trading at 13,742.22 points yesterday.

The trading value increased 83.28 percent to QR787.6m compared QR429.73m registered on Monday.

The market capitalisation increased 0.54 percent to QR729.765bn from Monday’s QR725.835bn.

The trading volume increased 72.8 percent to 16,839,121 shares from 7,559 transactions compared to Monday’s 97,744,733 shares from 4,707 transactions.

Telecommunications sector was the top gainer with its index up 1.85 percent to 1,603.48 points yesterday. Banks and finance sectors index rose 0.9 percent to 3,405.25 points.

From the 43 listed companies, shares of 42 were traded. From these, 19 each gained and dropped while four remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s bourse outperformed an otherwise sluggish region yesterday on the back of property firms and other blue chips, while banks dragged down Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s central bank tightened consumer lending regulations.

The Cairo index rose 1.8 percent, its biggest gain in five weeks, after the country’s central bank on Monday kept interest rates unchanged, as expected by the market, and said there was upside risk to the inflation outlook.

At its previous meeting on July 17, the central bank had raised benchmark interest rates in a surprise move seen as an attempt to hold down inflation after the government introduced fuel price increases.

Expectations for higher inflation have prompted investors to chase property stocks, hoping Egyptians will use real estate as a hedge against consumer price increases.

Shares in developer SODIC rose 2.6 percent yesterday, while another property firm, Talaat Moustafa Group , added 2.9 percent. Palms Hills Developments Company rose 1.8 percent and Medinet Nasr for Housing and Development was up 1.1 percent.

Another positive factor was a report by Egyptian state-run newspaper Al Ahram which said state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp had secured a 10bn Egyptian pound ($1.4bn) loan which it would use to repay part of its debt to foreign oil companies.

The move means that the foreign companies are likely to continue their operations in Egypt, said Harshjit Oza, assistant director of research at Naeem Brokerage in Cairo.

Saudi Arabia’s main stock index pulled back 0.6 percent after hitting a fresh six-year high in the previous session. The banking sector benchmark fell 1.3 percent after the central bank said it might cap lenders’ retail exposure and would limit fees related to consumer finance.

Al Rajhi Bank, the biggest player in the consumer lending segment, was the largest drag on the main index, sliding 0.9 percent. Other leading retail banks also suffered: Samba Financial Group fell 2.2 percent and Saudi British Bank was down 2.3 percent.

Saudi riyal forwards and credit default swaps did not move in response to the news, suggesting the stock market is unlikely to be worried by it.