Qatar Stocks Rally Most in Gulf on FTSE Emerging-Market Upgrade

  • Index provider relaxes liquidity tests for Qatari shares
  • Doha’s benchmark gauge trades at highest level in nine months

Qatar stocks climbed after FTSE Russell said it would relax the criteria to decide which of the nation’s shares will join its emerging-markets index next month.

The QE Index advanced 2.2 percent to 11,371.12 points in Doha on Tuesday, its biggest gain since June 7 and the most among more than 90 gauges tracked globally by Bloomberg after Ghana’s measure. FTSE, the London-based global index provider, eased the liquidity requirements for Qatari stocks in its developing-nation gauge, according to a statement on Monday.

Stocks from the Gulf nation will trade in the FTSE Emerging Index in September, following an upgrade from frontier-market status. While the index provider will publish the list of companies that will be added and their weightings at the end of this month, EFG-Hermes Holding said the relaxed tests could boost inflows in September to $550 million.

“What we’re seeing today is mostly speculative buying on the back of FTSE’s upcoming upgrade of Qatar and the potential inclusion of QNB, which will have a limited overall impact on the market,” said Wadah Al Taha, Dubai-based advisory board member for United Arab Emirates at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. “Gulf Cooperation Council markets, including Qatar, still get most of their cues from the oil market.”

Qatar National Bank SAQ increased 6.7 percent, its biggest single-day advance since July 2014, to 168.50 riyals. Qatar Navigation QSC and Aamal Co. also rose at least 5.9 percent as 17 out of the gauge’s 20 stocks gained.

While the index’s 50-day moving average last week crossed above its 100-day measure -- a bullish sign to some analysts -- the gauge’s 14-day relative-strength index climbed to 82 on Tuesday. A level above 70 signals that a security may have risen too fast and be poised to reverse.

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