Qatar Stocks Have Worst Run Since 2003 as Oil Rout Chokes Volume

  • NBAD Securities says foreign, local investors aren't buying
  • Qatar's biggest trading partners are U.A.E, Saudi Arabia

Qatari stocks capped their longest losing streak since 2003 as falling oil prices threatened the regional trading prospects for the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

The benchmark QE Index has fallen 6.6 percent in the past 11 days as companies that earn their revenues from the petroleum industry slumped, led by Gulf International Services, a drilling and transport-services company. The 20-member gauge was the world’s worst-performing stock index in the period after measures in Egypt and Dubai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“There’s no interest in buying, from local or foreign investors,” said Ahmed Shehada, the Dubai-based executive director for advisory and institutions at NBAD Securities LLC, a unit of the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank. “Interest in Qatar has been drying up because there are not many stocks to choose from, and 30 to 35 percent of the stocks are hydrocarbon-linked. It’s less diversified than other markets in the region.”

Trading volumes in the island state have slumped amid an equity selloff across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council after the price of Brent crude sank more than 40 percent in the past 12 months. The GCC is home to almost a third of the world’s proven oil reserves and governments in the region rely on income from energy to fund public spending, one of the biggest drivers of economic growth. 

Trading Partners

About 9.3 million shares were traded, compared with a one-year daily average of 10.4 million. Volumes haven’t beaten the average in 15 days.

While Qatar is less directly affected than some of its neighbors by oil’s decline, the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia were two of country’s largest trading partners last quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Qatar’s QE Index retreated 2 percent, the most since August, to 10,947.02. All 20 members of the gauge declined, led by Ezdan Real Estate Company QSC’s 3 percent loss.

Most stocks across the GCC also fell. Dubai’s DFM General Index slumped 2.4 percent, and closed at the lowest since December. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 0.6 percent. Bahrain’s gauge lost 0.9 percent and Oman’s slipped 0.1 percent.

Brent crude was little changed at $47.20 per barrel at 10:36 a.m. in London.

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