Qatar Shares Jump Most in Six Months as Concern on GCC Row EasesSarmad Khan
Qatar stocks gained the most in almost six months as investors bet a diplomatic row between the country and its Gulf neighbors will fade.
The benchmark QE Index jumped 2.3 percent, its biggest increase since Sept. 10, to close at 11,607.03 in Doha. All but one of the 20 stocks on the benchmark rose, making it the second-best performing among more than 90 indexes tracked globally by Bloomberg. The measure tumbled 2.1 percent yesterday after the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, withdrew ambassadors from the gas-rich country over its perceived meddling in regional affairs.
“There is less of a concern among investors that there would be a lasting fallout between the GCC member countries,” Nayal Khan, head of institutional sales and trading at Naeem Holding in Dubai, said by phone today.
Qatar will probably soften its support for the Muslim Brotherhood to ease tensions with Gulf allies, according to analysts and investors including Anthony Harris, head of Robert Fleming Insurance Brokers Middle East and former British Ambassador to the U.A.E. Gulf countries have been critical of Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, deviating from the union’s crackdown on the Islamist organization, he said.
“I am sure they will find a way to paper over the cracks here very quickly,” Harris said of the diplomatic row in a phone interview yesterday from Riyadh.
Ooredoo, the Qatar-based telecommunications operator that fell more than 7 percent yesterday, traded 1.9 percent higher at 139 riyals. Qatar International Islamic Bank climbed 4.1 percent to 76.50 riyals while Masraf Al Rayan increased 3.8 percent to 38.60 riyals.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul Index closed 1 percent higher and Dubai’s benchmark gained 1.3 percent. Kuwait’s gauge rose 0.4 percent and Bahrain’s increased 0.6 percent. Abu Dhabi’s index retreated 0.8 percent, Egypt’s EGX 30 Index slipped 0.9 percent and Oman’s gauge dropped 0.2 percent.