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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Slaughterhouse operator is the only Qatari stock showing signs of life

Widam Food has gained 5.4 per cent in Doha since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links on June 5

A Qatari trader at the stock exchange in Doha. All but one Qatari stocks have bombed. Stringer/AFP
A Qatari trader at the stock exchange in Doha. All but one Qatari stocks have bombed. Stringer/AFP

The only Qatari stock to post gains since a dispute erupted with the Arabian Gulf country’s neighbours is a slaughterhouse and livestock trader that sells subsidised meat to locals.

Widam Food has gained 5.4 per cent in Doha since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links on June 5, accusing Qatar of supporting Sunni extremist groups and Iranian-backed militants.

While Qatar has repeatedly denied the charges, its benchmark index has slumped 16 per cent during the stand-off, the worst performance of any global market.

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Widam has a mix of investors, with a greater proportion of holders from outside the regional GCC states than any other Doha stock.

While GCC investors dumped Qatar equities as the dispute erupted, Widam’s foreign holding dropped by less than 1 percentage point to about 24 per cent, the highest among the exchange’s 45 stocks, figures from the local bourse show.