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National Leasing Slumps Most in 7 Years on Dividend: Doha Mover

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- National Leasing tumbled the most in almost seven years after the Qatari investment company cut its full-year dividend by 43 percent as net income fell.

The shares slumped 10 percent, the most since March 2006, to 40.7 riyals at the close in Doha. National Leasing was the biggest decliner on a percentage basis on the benchmark QE Index, which decreased 1 percent to 8,557.96, the lowest level in almost two weeks. About 1.2 million National Leasing shares were traded today, more than 11 times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

National Leasing said today its board recommended a 2012 dividend of two riyals, down from 3.5 riyals for 2011 and 3 riyals for 2010. Full-year profit at the company which invests in, sells and rents transferable and fixed assets decreased 12 percent to 190 million riyals ($52 million).

Investors were “disappointed as they expected a four-riyal dividend,” said Samer Darwiche, Dubai-based analyst at Gulfmena Investments Ltd.

National Leasing trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.7 times, compared with 1.1 times for United Development Co., which invests in Qatari infrastructure. The stock is the third-smallest on the QE Index of 20 companies, with an index weighting of 1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net

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