Qatar’s shares increased the most in almost two weeks on optimism about the Persian Gulf country’s bid to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup.
Industries Qatar, the second-biggest petrochemicals maker in the Middle East, rose a second day and Qatar National Bank, the nation’s biggest lender by assets, gained 1.7 percent. The QE Index climbed 0.7 percent, the most since Nov. 22, to 8,184.91 at the 12:30 p.m. close in Doha. Markets in the United Arab Emirates are closed today through Dec. 5 for the country’s National Day and an Islamic holiday.
“If Qatar wins, it would have a massive impact on the country’s infrastructure and economy as it would improve liquidity and affect companies in the real estate, communications and logistics sectors,” said Ahmed A. Hadi, general manager of equity brokerage at Dlala’ Brokerage & Investment Holding Co. in Doha. “Investors have eagerly been waiting for the moment the winners of the bid are announced.”
The Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, will announce the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 competitions today in Zurich. Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the prime ministers of South Korea, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium have flown to Zurich to push their countries bids. Hosting the tournament is worth about $5 billion, according to American estimates.
According to U.K. bookmaker William Hill Plc, for the 2022 bid, Qatar is favored at odds of 4-6 with the U.S. and Australia both on odds of 5-2. Japan is 33-1 at Hill, and South Korea is 40-1.
Emerging markets stocks advanced, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rising 1.5 percent and the MSCI EM Index climbing 1.2 percent after U.S. economic reports and speculation that Europe’s debt crisis will be contained boosted confidence in the global recovery. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.2 percent yesterday, the most since Sept. 1.
Crude oil for January delivery rose as much as 0.4 percent to $87.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The six Gulf Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Industries Qatar increased as much as 2.4 percent to 131.8 riyals and closed at 129.5 riyals. Qatar National Bank jumped the most since Nov. 21 to 175.7 riyals.
Bahrain’s All Share Index dropped 1.1 percent and Kuwait’s gauge retreated 0.5 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index rose 0.4 percent. Saudi Arabia’s market is closed for the weekend.