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21% gains in the stock market during 2018

٢١% مكاسب البورصة خلال ٢٠١٨

Doha / Dubai: Despite facing more than 18 months of the ongoing unjust economic and political blockade, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) led the gainers among all the GCC stock markets registering the highest 21 percent rise in 2018. The emergence of QSE as the best forming markets in the region shows the resilience of the Qatari economy and its solid macroeconomic fundamentals.

While Dubai’s stock market ended 2018 yesterday with a 25-percent annual loss, the worst year since the global financial crisis a decade ago, as the real estate and tourism sectors struggled.

The QSE’s benchmark index gained 15.29 points, or 0.15 percent, yesterday when the bourse closed trading at 10,299.01 points, on the last trading day of the year 2018.

The volume of shares traded decreased to 7.08 million from 7.41 million on Sunday and the value of shares increased to QR175.79m from QR130.54m on Sunday. Of the 48 companies listed on QSE, shares of 44 saw trading yesterday. Of these, 19 companies gained, 19 closed lower and shares of six companies remained unchanged.

Indices of four sector ended in green zone and three sectors ended in red zone. QSE Total Return Index increased 0.15 percent to 18,145.72 points and QSE Al Rayan Islamic Index lost 0.01 percent to 3,884.91 points. QSE All Share Index gained 0.45 percent to 3,079.09 points.

Meanwhile, the plunge in the Dubai Financial market Index was the biggest among Gulf and Arab bourses amid signs of a slowdown in the emirate’s highly diversified economy, reports AFP.

“The performance of traditional growth engines for UAE – real estate and retail – have been lacklustre,” M R Raghu, head of research at Kuwait Financial Center (Markaz), said.

But it was not as bad as in 2008 when the Dubai stock market dived 72 percent after the financial crisis triggered a debt problem for the emirate.

In 2018, Oman’s small bourse dropped 15 percent while stock markets in other GCC states ended the year in positive territory, buoyed by an increase in oil prices. The Dubai market’s sister bourse in Abu Dhabi rose more than 10 percent.

The Saudi stock market, the largest in the Arab world, ended the year up 8.3 percent despite dipping to a three-year low in October after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. “2018 has been a volatile year for the Saudi stock market,” as it began on a strong note but lost ground because of “political uncertainties,” Raghu told AFP.

In December, the Dubai Financial market Index dropped to a five-year low before slightly recovering to close the year at 2,529.75 points.

The stock market’s dive was attributed to a sharp drop in real estate sales and prices due to oversupply and weak demand.

The property market, which makes up around 13 percent of Dubai’s gross domestic product, has been in decline since 2014 but its slide accelerated in 2018.

In the third quarter alone, the price of houses dropped 7.4 percent in Dubai, according to the UAE central bank, after declining by more than six percent in the first half of 2018.

Shares in Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the Middle East, lost almost half their value over the past year, mirroring sharp falls for the sector as a whole.

“The UAE real estate market continues to be oversupplied and it has exerted pressure on sales, occupancy and rentals. The market has witnessed an approximately 30 percent fall in capital values in various pockets,” Raghu said.

“This coupled with increasing input prices and VAT (value-added tax) implementation has impacted the margins for businesses. All these factors have sustained the selling pressure on the Dubai bourse,” he said.

A glut of housing units and weak demand are also key reasons for the property market downturn, the Standard and Poor’s ratings agency said earlier this year.

أنهت البورصة القطرية تعاملاتها للعام الماضي، أمس، على وقع ارتفاع طفيف قاد مؤشرها لملامسة حاجز 10300 نقطة.

وارتقى مؤشر ثاني أكبر أسواق المال العربية بواقع 0.15% في الجلسة الأخيرة من العام، منهياً تعاملاته عند نطاق 10299 نقطة.

وتخللت الجلسة تداولات قدرها 176 مليون ريال، فيما ينتظر تحسّن قيم السيولة، وذلك مع بدء الشركات في الإعلان عن نتائجها المالية لعام 2018.

وزاد مؤشر البورصة بواقع 20.8% طوال عام 2018.

هذا، ومن المقرر أن تستأنف البورصة تعاملاتها يوم غدٍ الأربعاء؛ حيث سيكون اليوم الثلاثاء عطلة رسمية، وذلك بناء على تعليمات هيئة قطر للأسواق المالية.;

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