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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 02/03/2014
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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Buoyed by the MSCI and S&P Dow Jones' decision to upgrade the Qatari market, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were bullish and turned net buyers in 2013.



The non-Qatari institutions bought, on a net basis, approximately QR2.5bn in equities last year, QNB Financial Services' (QNBFS) 'Qatar Equity Strategy Report 2014' said yesterday.



QNBFS forecasts a strong 12 percent increase in aggregate earnings by key Qatari equities in 2014. With solid earnings growth of 12 percent, QNB believes that the QE index can expand its multiples



Foreign institutions turned bullish in a major way during the fourth quarter of 2013. They were the primary drivers of the Qatar Exchange (QE) index performance in the quarter, pushing the index up by eight percent.



Qatar, the third largest equity market in the GCC, will be upgraded to the MSCI Emerging Market Index from the MSCI Frontier Markets in May 2014. This is likely to result in additional inflows of estimated 500m as funds that track the index take positions in the Qatari market.



"We note as of February 2014, many active funds have already taken the lead with net foreign portfolio investments reaching cira 700m in 2013 and almost 650m currently versus an outflow of approximately 900m in 2012. Subsequent to the MSCI announcement, S&P Dow Jones also announced a similar upgrade, adding Qatar to its own Emerging Markets Index," it said



The QNBFS' strategy report expects the upgrade to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index will have a long-term influence for the domestic market. It believes that increased foreign interest will be motivating factor for firms to elevate and enhance their investor relations function with the aim of becoming more open with all stakeholders. Currently, bluechip index heavyweights like QNB Group, Industries Qatar, Ooredoo and other leading players have dedicated investor relations units that facilitate investor awareness and corporate access



Market capitalisation increased by 20.8 percent to reach QR555.6bn against QR459.9bn at the end of 2012. Of the 42 listed companies, 26 companies ended the year higher. The QE benchmark index went up by 24.17 percent in 2013. Qatari investors dominated trading value in 2013. Local individual investors made up 40 percent of the total buying and selling activity in 2013, while local institutional investors contributed 24 percent; non-Qatari institutions made up 22 percent of overall trading activity



Qatari individual investors drove 38 percent of overall buying followed by Qatari institutions (25 percent) and foreign institutions (24 percent). Non-Qatari institutions made a major net buying push in fourth quarter 2013 and bought, on a net basis, roughly QR2.5bn in equities in 2013. Qatari institutions were also net buyers to the tune of almost QR1bn. On the otehrhand, individuals, both Qatari and non-Qatari, were net sellers of Qatari equities in 2013


 






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