06 Jan 2018 - 10:38

Investing in future

The Peninsula

The wealth of investors on Qatar Stock Exchange is rising. The stock market continued to enjoy the country’s expansionary budget announcement. Investors are also increasingly betting on Qatar’s proposed law to permit expatriates to own properties. Qatar stock market had started off 2018 on a positive note and the benchmark index gained 1.23 percent to end the first week of the year at 8,630.67 points. Investors’ wealth rose by 1.07 percent to reach QR477.77bn. Qatar companies that rely on the strength of the economy for their businesses staged strong performance as traders bet that an economy recovery will continue and boost the valuations.

Fund managers from the region predict a strong market recovery. 2018 is going to be the year, when earnings start kicking up with the aggressive government spending, they say. A synchronised global growth is also going to influence the local market. Oil prices are spiking up. There will not be any major macro concern for Qatar in 2018, analysts point out.

Also, 2018 is expected to be the comeback year for real estate and banking sectors on the exchange. Real estate shares jumped a huge 35.32 percent in December. Banks are expected to remain the key beneficiaries of the government’s huge project spending this year. The 2018 state budget charts out infrastructure spending that continues to average $500m a week. Heightened infrastructure spending will benefit the banking sector who will be called upon to fund a significant proportion of the new infrastructure.

Rashid Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of the QSE, when asked about the performance of the stock market as recently as November, said that the Qatari capital market is stable. It has passed the shock of the blockade and QSE is now operating normally like before the announcement of the siege.  “Now we have come out of the impact of the blockade. If you see the number of transactions and trade value, they are stable and same like we registered before June 5.”

Al Mansoori noted that the stock exchange is working very efficiently and attracting more investors from all around the world. “Over 100 new foreign funds have begun investing in Qatar since the blockade was imposed in early June.” He said the QSE is negotiating with many Arab and Asian countries to arrange dual listings of foreign stocks in Qatar.

The Qatar Stock Exchange, the second largest bourse in terms of market capitalisation in the GCC, is committed to improving sustainability, transparency and good governance to become the largest and most sustainable bourse in the region.