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Barwa Falls Most in Four Weeks After 46% Profit Drop: Doha Mover

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Barwa Real Estate Co. fell the most in four weeks after Qatar’s biggest publicly traded property developer by assets said quarterly profit decreased 46 percent.

The shares retreated 3.4 percent, the most since April 3, to 23.55 riyals at the close in Doha, bringing the drop this month to 5.2 percent. The stock was the biggest decliner on the benchmark QE Index, which increased 0.6 percent.

Barwa’s first-quarter net income fell to 158.5 million riyals ($43.5 million) from 292.5 million riyals a year earlier, the company said in a release on the Qatar Exchange website. The decline came as losses from discontinued operations rose to 196.5 million riyals from 4.5 million riyals. Profit from continuing operations gained 16 percent to 355 million riyals.

Investors “are reacting to the drop in the headline income,” Bobby Sarkar, head of research at Qatar National Bank Financial Services, said by phone. “The drop is because of losses from discontinued operations. If you look at income from continued operations, that’s actually up.”

Barwa, which counts government-owned Qatar Diar Real Estate Investment Co. as its biggest shareholder, has faced sluggish demand since the 2008 financial crisis created a glut of properties. The price of rent and utilities began rising in October after more than a year of declines, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority.

Barwa, which said yesterday it will open its Commercial Avenue development next quarter, reported a 3.9 percent drop in first-quarter revenue to 625.2 million riyals, according to its financial statement. Total assets fell to 44.4 billion riyals from 50.2 billion riyals a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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