The brokerage arms of the commercial banks in Qatar cornered lion's share of trade turnover on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which closed on a high note in 2019, a year that saw the listed companies adopt stock-split, through which the face value got reduced by one-tenth.
QNB Financial Services, Commercial Bank Financial Services and Al Ahli Brokerage were seen constituting more than 52% of the total turnover in 2019, which also saw the advent of Baladna on the trading floor, thus expanding the universe of listed constituents to 47 on the QSE.
The QNB subsidiary topped among the nine brokerage houses in the QSE, constituting 31% of the total share trade turnover during 2019. QNBFS’ trade turnover amounted to QR46.51bn, growing 2% year-on-year.
CBQIS, the stock broking arm of Commercial Bank, accounted for 12.34% of trade turnover (QR18.51bn), which saw a yearly 26% plunge, and Al-Ahli Brokerage, a subsidiary of Ahli Bank, saw its trade turnover shrink 3% to QR12.28bn, cornering a market share of 8.19% during January-December 2019.
Extraneous events as US-China trade war had cast its shadow on the stock split, which ought to have enhanced confidence. But it was the expansionary budget that later gave the big push during 2019.
The Qatar Financial Market Authority had laid down a detailed timetable for the implementation of the stock split, a process that ought to attract more retail investors and enhance liquidity in the system in the days to come.
The consumer goods, transport and banking counters witnessed higher than average demand in the market during 2019, which saw as many as 721,555 sovereign bonds valued at QR7.21bn trade across 23 deals.
Amidst the overall bullish overhang, Islamic index was seen bucking the trend during 2019, which saw foreign funds inflow of more than $1.3bn till December first week 2019.
Foreign funds were seen marginally bullish during 2019, which saw QSE chief Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori strongly pitch for a mandatory ESG (environment social and governance) reporting by the listed companies.
"We will work with the regulators to make it mandatory for our listed companies to publish their ESG reports," he had said.
The performance of Doha Bank and Vodafone Qatar stood above emerging market average under the ESG parameters, as per the global index compiler FTSE Russell’s ESG ranking. Similarly, QNB, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar Islamic Bank and Nakilat also fared better, thus standing above the Qatar average.
Nevertheless, local and non-Qatari retail investors were increasingly net profit takers during 2019, which also saw the QSE actively pursue a strategy to lure investments from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries as part further diversifying its investor base.
Foreign institutions continued to be net buyers but with lesser vigour during 2019, which saw market capitalisation decline more than 1% to QR582.74bn mainly owing to mid and small cap segments.
The Banks and Financial Services sector led trading value accounted for 41.65% of the total trading value, followed by the Industrials, which accounted for 22.89%. The Consumer Goods and Services sector ranked third, accounting for 12.59%, and Real Estate sector, which accounted for 10.36% during 2019 which saw global index compiler MSCI include QIIB, a Shariah-principled lender, in its index.
The top 10 constituents in the MSCI Qatar Index are QNB, Industries Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, Woqod, Commercial Bank, Qatar Electricity and Water, Barwa and Ooredoo, together constituting about 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalisation.
The MSCI All Qatar Index is designed to represent the performance of the broad Qatar equity universe, while including a minimum number of constituents.
QNB led trading value during 2019, accounting for 17.98% of the total trading value, followed by Woqod 7.93% and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding 7.21%.
In terms of trading volume, the banks and financial services sector led accounted for 33.57% of the total, industrials 25.15%, realty 19.96% and consumer goods and services 8.93% during 2019, which saw ESG increasingly getting traction into the country's capital market.
In terms of transactions, the Industrials sector constituted 30.33% of the total, followed by banks and financial services 27.73%, real estate 17.09% and consumer goods and services 9.45% during 2019, which saw a total of 7.03mn exchange traded funds valued at QR61.12mn change hands across 1,254 deals.
A total of 11.42mn shares worth QR67.7bn traded across 1.53mn transactions with banks and financial services sector witnessing some 3.83bn equities valued at QR28.2bn changes hands across 424,061 transactions.
The industrials and real estate sectors saw a total of 2.87bn and 2.28bn stocks worth QR15.5bn and QR7.01bn trade across 463,730 and 261,233 deals respectively during 2019.