Qatar stocks jump on salary hikes
Doha, September 7, 2011
Qatar's bourse rose for a second day on Wednesday after the Gulf state announced salary and pension hikes of up to 120 per cent 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 per cent and 120 per cent 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 per cent 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.-Reuters