Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s benchmark stock index advanced to the highest level in more than a week as Qatar National Bank SAQ and Industries Qatar QSC gained on optimism about third-quarter earnings.
Qatar National Bank, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, gained for a fourth day and Industries Qatar, the second-largest petrochemicals company in the Middle East, climbed to the highest this month. Qatar’s QE Index increased 0.8 percent to 8,352.60, the highest since Oct. 2, at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. The Qatar Exchange Banking Sector Index rose for a fifth day, jumping 0.9 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index was little changed.
“Qatar’s market is being supported by the performance of banks, especially after Qatar National Bank’s results,” said Samer Darwiche, a financial analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. Earnings in the country may improve as “forecasted growth for the Qatari economy is higher than its regional peers,” he said.
Qatar, the host of the 2022 soccer World Cup and biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, expects economic growth of about 16 percent in 2011 and projects a budget surplus of $6.1 billion this fiscal year. The International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of about 19 percent in 2011, making it the world’s fastest-growing economy for a second year. That compares with a growth forecast of 4 percent for the Middle East and North Africa.
Qatar National, the company with the heaviest weighting on the benchmark stock index, on Oct. 5 posted a 31 percent surge in third-quarter profit to 1.9 billion riyals ($522 million) on higher income from lending. Industries Qatar may say this week quarterly profit climbed 49 percent to 2.12 billion riyals, according to the average of two analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Qatar National Bank gained 0.3 percent to 141.9 riyals, the highest since Oct. 3. Industries Qatar rose 1.4 percent to 124.6 riyals, the highest since Sept. 28.
Kuwait’s measure and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index advanced 0.2 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index decreased 0.2 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index and Oman’s MSM30 Index lost 0.1 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped 0.3 percent.
--Editors: Andrew J. Barden, Claudia Maedler
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