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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 29/01/2014

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Exchange index lost 75.61 points, or 0.67 percent, yesterday to reach 11,170.25 points from the previous closing of 11,245.86 points yesterday.

The volume of shares fell to 7,747,626 from Monday 8,717,748 and the value of shares decreased to QR451,078,249.96 from QR525,331,411.06 on Monday.

Among the top losers were Qatar National Bank whose share was down 1.61 percent to QR183.00, Commercial Bank of Qatar lost 1.24 percent to QR71.50, Ooredoo fell 4.23 percent to QR149.40 and Islamic Holding decreased by 1.62 percent to QR45.65.

The Banking and Financial sector index lost 0.84 percent while Consumer Goods and Services sector index added 0.33 percent. The Industrial sector was up 0.06 percent while insurance sector gained 0.94 percent points.

Meanwhile, Egypt's stock market climbed to a 44-month high yesterday after the army chief was given the green light to run for president, while markets in the United Arab Emirates snapped a two-session decline.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces cleared Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to run in upcoming elections, which he looks sure to win. Many Egyptians see him as the best chance for political stability.

"Sisi still didn't officially announce his bid for presidency, but all roads are leading in that direction because of popular demand," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities in Cairo.

"People are more comfortable having Sisi as president rather than anyone else because it creates a sense of stability."

Sentiment was also helped by Finance Minister Ahmed Galal saying the interim government would soon launch a second stimulus package of about the same size as the first one, 30bn Egyptian pounds (4.3bn).

In a sign that Sisi may have to face a growing Islamist militant campaign, gunmen killed a senior Egyptian Interior Ministry official outside his home in Cairo on Tuesday, according to security officials.

But for now at least, many investors feel the level of violence is tolerable. Cairo's benchmark index rose 1.5 percent to 7,368 points, its highest level since May 2010.

It climbed above strong technical resistance at 7,248 points, the January 2011 high; a weekly close above that level would confirm a break. The index faces another major resistance at 7,693 points, the peak in April 2010.

Shares in EFG-Hermes rose 3.3 percent after the investment bank said it was arranging three initial public offers of shares with a combined value of over 300m this year - Egypt's first IPOs since 2010.

In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's bourse jumped 3.2 percent to 3,805 points, halting a two-day drop that was triggered by the global sell-off in emerging markets. It ended just short of Thursday's five-year, intra-day peak 3,826 points.

Blue chip Emaar Properties jumped 6.3 percent to 8.24 dirhams, its highest close since September 2008, after EFG-Hermes raised its price target for the stock to 10.1 dirhams and upgraded it to a 'buy', citing improved sentiment towards growth stocks in the region and the strengths of Emaar's own business, which saw strong gains in leasing and hospitality revenues during the first nine months of last year

 






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