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Qatari Shares Drop to 3-Month Low After Bank Earnings Disappoint

Qatar’s benchmark index tumbled to the lowest close almost three months after Qatar Islamic Bank’s full-year earnings missed analysts’ estimates.

Qatar Islamic, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender, slumped 3.1 percent. Doha Bank QSC fell for a sixth day after reporting 2011 profit in line with expectations. Qatar’s QE Index declined 1.1 percent to 8,461.77, the lowest since Oct. 25, at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. The measure retreated 2.7 percent this week.

“Banks earnings are weighing on the Doha bourse and disappointed some investors as Qatar Islamic missed estimates and Doha Bank was in line,” said Samer Darwiche, a Dubai-based analyst at Gulfmena Investments. He said investors were “highly anticipating” results of lenders in Qatar, which had the world’s fastest-growing economy for a second straight year in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Qatar Islamic, the company with the fourth-heaviest weighting on Qatar’s benchmark stock index, said net income for 2011 was 1.37 billion riyals ($376 million) compared with 1.26 billion riyals a year earlier. The mean estimate of eight analysts was for a profit of 1.46 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock fell the most since March 14 to 80.3 riyals. The shares rose 4.7 percent last year.

Doha Bank shares dropped 2.9 percent, the most since Oct. 4, to 63 riyals. Qatar’s third-largest bank by total loans posted an 18 percent rise in 2011 profit, and may increase the size of a $500 million bond it plans to sell as early as this quarter, Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman said.

About 6.1 million shares traded in Qatar today, compared with a 12-month daily average of 7.8 million.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index retreated 0.3 percent and Oman’s MSM 30 Index slipped 0.2 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index dropped 0.3 percent. Kuwait’s gauge was little changed while Bahrain’s BB All Share Index gained 0.4 percent and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index advanced 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s market is closed for the weekend.

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