Qatar Stocks Buck Mideast Gains, Fall Most in 11 Days: Inside EM

(Bloomberg) -- Qatari stocks retreated the most in the Middle East, declining the most in 11 days.

The main index declined 1.1 percent, led by a drop in Masraf Al Rayan. Morgan Stanley analysts last week downgraded Qatari stocks to underweight from equal-weight, citing the market’s relatively high valuations in an emailed note. The gauge has been trading at a premium to emerging-market peers since June.

Still, the estimated earnings per share for the gauge’s 20 members has risen in March, poised for its longest monthly rising streak since at least early 2008, when Bloomberg began tracking the data.

HIGHLIGHTS 
  • EM stocks gained 2.6% during the week ending March 15 
  • Morgan Stanley upgraded Egyptian stocks to equal-weight on structural reform upside. Still, the EGX30 Index adds 0.3%

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • The QE Index deepens loss this year to 4.2%, poised for its worst first quarter since 2015
    • 14 out of 20 members fall, 6 rise
    • READ: Danger Sign for Qatar Stocks as Neighbors Lure Foreign Investors
  • Dubai’s DFM General Index climbs 0.1%, while the ADX General Index in Abu Dhabi declines 0.4%
    • Dana Gas rises 2.7% in Abu Dhabi, the most since Feb. 27
    • READ: Dana Gas Proposes to Buy Back 690 Million Shares in Abu Dhabi
    • First Abu Dhabi Bank has been banned from growing its business in Qatar amid an investigation into the potential manipulation of its currency. The stock decreases 1%
  • Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slips 0.2%, led by National Commercial Bank’s 1.3% loss
    • Banque Saudi Fransi loses 1.2%; Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank sold a 4.9% stake in the bank for about 1.86b riyals ($496m)
    • Read: Saudi Arabia’s New Rules Set to Raise Islamic Tax for Some Banks
  • In Israel, the TA-35 Index gains 0.7%
    • READ: No Stopping Shekel Now After It Gets Past a Key Threshold: Chart
    • READ: One Israeli Killed, 2 Wounded in West Bank Shooting, Army Says

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