Bloomberg News

Qatar Shares Drop Most in 5 Months as QNB Dividend Disappoints

January 10, 2012

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s benchmark stock index dropped the most in more than five months as a dividend plan announced by Qatar National Bank SAQ disappointed investors.

Qatar National, the Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, slumped the most in more than two years. Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the nation’s second-biggest lender, decreased 1.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slumped 2.1 percent, the most since Aug. 7, to 8,629.25 at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index rose 0.1 percent.

“Apparently the dividend disappointed some investors, which tells you how high expectations are in Qatar with regard to dividend payouts, which have been historically very high,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, the Abu Dhabi-based head of investment and asset management at Royal Capital PJSC. The results were otherwise “strong,” he said.

Qatar National yesterday said it would distribute a 40 percent cash dividend and bonus shares of 10 percent. Its full- year profit rose 32 percent to 7.5 billion riyals ($2 billion) as loans and advances increased, beating the mean 7.37 billion- riyal estimate of eight analysts, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The shares tumbled 5.2 percent, the most since December 2009, to 145 riyals.

Qatar’s economy may expand 19 percent in 2011, making it the fastest-growing economy in the world, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said in an October report. Local banks are benefiting from a pickup in lending as the Persian Gulf country, host to soccer’s 2022 World Cup, invests in infrastructure and industrial projects.

Commercial Bank of Qatar, which may report results on Jan. 23, fell the most since Nov. 21 to 83.6 riyals.

Oman’s MSM 30 Index declined 0.3 percent, while Kuwait’s gauge advanced 0.5 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index gained 0.4 percent and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index increased less than 0.1 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.5 percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index fell less than 0.1 percent.

--Editors: Daliah Merzaban, Shanthy Nambiar

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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