Qatar’s shares rose to the highest in two years after the country won rights to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup, becoming the first Arab nation to hold the world’s most-watched sporting event.
Qatar National Bank, the emirate’s biggest lender by assets, climbed to the highest in more than five years. Barwa Real Estate Co., Qatar’s largest publicly traded property developer by assets, gained 6.2 percent. The QE Index advanced 3.6 percent to 8,477.32 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha, the highest since October 2008. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.7 percent and Egypt’s EGX 30 Index rose 1.1 percent.
“Sentiment is understandably flying extremely high,” said Akber Khan, a director at Al Rayan Investment in Doha. “There will be a material impact on some companies as the government fast-tracks billions of dollars of spending. Banks, real estate and construction-related names would be among the key beneficiaries.”
Qatar, projected by the International Monetary Fund to have the world’s fastest-growing economy this year, plans to more than double the number of hotel rooms, build nine stadiums and refurbish three others and construct a rail and metro network for the tournament. The U.S. estimates that the tournament is worth $5 billion to the hosts.
Shares valued at about 1.2 billion riyals ($330 million) traded in Qatar today, the most since June 2008. Qatar National Bank jumped 4.5 percent to 183.6 riyals, the highest since September 2005. Barwa Real Estate Co. rose to 36 riyals, the highest since October 2009.
The country plans to spend $4 billion on the stadium construction and refurbishment program. With summer temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), each facility will be designed with a solar-powered air-conditioning system. A new 200,000-population city called Lusail, north of the capital, is scheduled to be built over the next decade and will feature the stadium that hosts the World Cup final.
Qatar expects to construct a rail and metro network, costing more than $25 billion, in Doha and extending to cities outside the capital. It’s also planning the longest bridge in the world to connect to the nearby island kingdom of Bahrain, and aims to open a new airport next year.
Orascom Construction Industries jumped 3.2 percent, the most since May 26, on speculation the Cairo-based company may get World Cup contracts. “It is poised for more gains tomorrow as investors expect the company to be awarded more contracts in Qatar,” said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage Co.
Soccer’s ruling body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, announced that Qatar won the World Cup bid in Zurich Dec. 2 after competing with the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea. Russia was chosen to host the 2018 tournament.
Industries Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals maker in the Middle East, advanced 4.3 percent to 135 riyals.
Crude oil rose to the highest level in 25 months, with oil for January delivery settling at $89.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Dec. 3. Futures increased 6.5 percent last week and 12 percent this year. The six Gulf Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Bahrain’s All Share Index gained 0.3 percent, Kuwait’s gauge increased 0.7 percent and Oman’s MSM30 Index advanced 0.5 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index retreated 0.3 percent after gaining 1.2 percent yesterday. Markets in the U.A.E. are closed today for an Islamic holiday.
The TA-25 Index rose to a record, adding 1.6 percent at the close in Tel Aviv as Perrigo Inc. climbed 4.8 percent to 234.50 shekels after the manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals was rated “buy” in new coverage at UBS AG.
Israeli bonds fell, with the yield on the benchmark 5 percent Mimshal Shiklit due January 2020 rising 1 basis point to 4.65 percent, the highest level since July 15.
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