Positive outlook for Doha Stock Market this year

The value of trading on DSM saw a gain of 121.3 per cent. (PATRICK CASTILLO)

Qatar's stock market can expect robust performance this year following a blistering start to 2008 that saw the value of trading activity jump by over 120 per cent from 2007 levels, a report has predicted.

Following a lacklustre period, the Doha Stock Market (DSM) witnessed northward momentum in 2007 which broke the southward journey of the market, which was started in last quarter of 2005, according to research by Global Investment House.

The Kuwait-based investment bank said during 2007 the Global DSM Index posted a yearly gain of 40.4 per cent and ended the year at 683.99. The four major sectors in the DSM are banking, insurance, services and industries. In 2007 all the four sectoral indices ended the year in positive.

"The positive journey of the DSM also continued in the first quarter of 2008. The value of trading activity at DSM recorded a gain of 121.3 per cent compared to similar period of previous year," the Qatar Economic and Strategic Outlook report said.

Value of shares traded in the first quarter of 2008 reached to QR36.1 billion from QR16.3bn at the same time last year.

Industrial and banking sector took the lead as value of trading activity in these sectors grew by 202.1 per cent and 157.4 per cent respectively. At the end of May 2008 Global DSM index showed a year-to-date gain of 36.5 per cent or 249.67 points to 933.66 points.

Banking, insurance and industrial sectors increased by 24 per cent, 21.2 per cent and 29.7 per cent respectively in first five months of 2008 over 2007 year-end level. DSM currently has 42 companies listed on the exchange. During 2007, four companies had been listed and in quarter one of 2008 two more companies listed.

The newly listed companies are Al Khalij Commercial Bank in the banking sector; Mannai Corporation, Qatar Oman Investment Company, Aamal Holding Company, Ezdan Real Estate Company and Islamic Financial Securities Company in the services sector.

Qatar Financial Markets Authority was established in 2006 to regulate the securities market. And now Qatar is planning to bring its financial system under a single integrated financial regulatory body.