Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s benchmark stock index advanced to the highest in two weeks, led by banks, on optimism quarterly earnings at Doha Bank QSC may increase.
Doha Bank, which after the end of the trading day reported a 10 percent increase in third-quarter profit, rose to the highest level in almost a month. Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, climbed for a fifth day. Qatar’s QE Index advanced 0.8 percent to 8,418.16, the highest since Sept. 28, at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. The Qatar Exchange Banking Sector Index rose for a sixth day, jumping 1 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index fell 0.1 percent.
“Doha Bank was expected to report after the close, and sentiment was bullish on that name, hence lifting the market,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, head of asset management at Abu Dhabi-based Royal Capital PJSC.
Doha Bank, Qatar’s fifth-biggest lender by market value, had a third-quarter profit of 308 million riyals ($84.5 million) compared with 280.6 million the year earlier. The increase follows a 31 percent surge in quarterly profit at Qatar National Bank, the company with the heaviest weighting on the benchmark index.
World Cup Host
Doha Bank shares rose 1.3 percent to 62.1 riyals, the highest since Sept. 18. Qatar National Bank gained 0.6 percent to 142.7 riyals, the highest since Sept. 28.
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.
Kuwait’s measure fell 0.2 percent and Bahrain’s BB All Share Index lost 0.7 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index and Dubai’s DFM General Index decreased 0.3 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index lost 0.8 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped 0.2 percent.
--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Shaji Mathew
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