x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Banks boost Qatar exchange

Qatar's stock market is lifted by banks as investors wait for fourth-quater earnings reports.

Qatar National Bank's profit rose 32 per cent. Ryan Carter / The National
Qatar National Bank's profit rose 32 per cent. Ryan Carter / The National

Qatar's stock market rose yesterday, boosted by banks, as investors awaited fourth-quarter earnings reports.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the country's largest bank by assets, rose 1.7 per cent to 147.50 rials.

The company yesterday reported a 32 per cent increase in net profit to 7.5 billion riyals in the quarter compared with the same period a year earlier and said it would distribute a 40 per cent cash dividend and bonus shares of 10 per cent. Retail investors were unhappy with the payout, causing the stock to fall 4.2 per cent after the announcement.

"The market has rebounded following the sell-off yesterday as investors shift their focus to the rest of the sector," said Marwan Shurrab, the vice president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. "While QNB's dividend was low on a yield basis, it is still attractive when compared to the rest of the region."

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the country's second-largest lender by assets, rose 1 per cent to 84.50 rials. Doha Bank, the country's fifth-largest lender by market value, jumped 3 per cent to 67 rials. Qatar's QE Index rose 0.9 per cent to 8,710.89.

Meanwhile, markets in the Emirates were mixed. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.1 per cent to 2,365.46, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 0.5 per cent to 1,333.52.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's index was little changed at 5,717.10; Bahrain's fell 0.4 per cent to 1,129.30; Oman's MSM 30 Index was little changed at 5,709.64; and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was up 0.1 per cent 6,486.40.



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