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Qatar rises on salary hikes; most markets up
Published in Daily News Egypt on 07 - 09 - 2011

DUBAI: Egypt's main index eased 0.02 percent to 4,727 points on Wednesday while Qatar's bourse rose for a second day after the Gulf Arab state announced salary and pension hikes of up to 120 percent for state and military staff, and most regional markets also advanced, buoyed by rebounding world stocks.
Qatar's decision will boost basic salaries and social benefits for state civilian employees by 60 percent and 120 percent for military officers.
"The salary increase for government staff and the military was a positive announcement for the Qatari market," said Musa Haddad, head of MENA equity desk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
"Qatar has already been showing signs of an uptrend and this announcement further boosted the market."
Doha Bank was the biggest gainer, jumping 3.9 percent. Qatar Islamic Bank climbed 1.1 percent.
Qatar, the world's richest nation per-capita — more than $88,500 according to the IMF — and host of the 2022 soccer World Cup, has along with the United Arab Emirates escaped unrest sweeping the Arab world. Its copious natural gas reserves have lifted it to the list of the world's richest nations.
Doha's index ended 0.7 percent higher.
Most other regional markets also advanced as a rebound by world stocks boosted the hopes of regional investors, but volumes were muted due lack of a local catalyst.
Global stocks rose from a two-week low and the euro rebounded across the board after Germany's top court rejected lawsuits aimed at blocking Berlin's participation in bailout packages for Greece and other euro zone countries.
"It appears that local markets will continue to hold the current levels since there is no local catalyst," said Matthew Wakeman, a EFG-Hermes managing director.
Property stocks helped lift Dubai's index for a second day, with Deyaar climbing 1.5 percent, Emaar gaining 0.4 percent and builder Arabtec rising 0.7 percent.
"I only see the update on the MSCI status that comes in November to be the next major catalyst for the region but it is too early to trade on that," said Wakeman.
Index compiler MSCI delayed until the end of the year its decision on whether to upgrade Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar to emerging market status.
"There is no news flow locally and markets will continue to look at global factors."
In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks led the rally lifting the index for the first time in three days.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and National Industrialization Co climbed 1.9 and 2.2 percent respectively, buoyed by rising oil prices.
"Investors feel that petrochemical stocks have a fair valuation now," said Hesham Tuffaha, Bakheet Investment Group head of asset management.
"There is still ... bad news around globally, but traders are buying as they feel the prices are comfortable and they hope for stability. If the world markets are stable, petrochemical stocks will rise further."
Al-Rajhi Bank added 0.7 percent, as the index gained 1 percent.


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