Business World

Wednesday 26 April 2017

World Cup gives Qatar's shares a big boost

A Qatari man holds the national flag during a celebration in Doha, Qatar, on Friday
A Qatari man holds the national flag during a celebration in Doha, Qatar, on Friday

Zahra Hankir

Qatar's shares rose to the highest in two years after the country won rights to host soccer's 2022 World Cup, becoming the first Arab nation to hold the world's most-watched sporting event.

Qatar National Bank, the emirate's biggest lender by assets, climbed to the highest in more than five years. Barwa Real Estate Co, Qatar's largest publicly traded property developer by assets, gained 6.2pc The QE Index advanced 3.6pc to 8,477.32, the highest since October 2008.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index increased 0.7pc and Egypt's EGX 30 Index rose 1.1pc.

"Sentiment is understandably flying extremely high," said Akber Khan, a director at Al Rayan Investment in Doha, Qatar.

"There will be a material impact on some companies as the government fast-tracks billions of dollars of spending. Banks, real estate and construction-related names would be among the key beneficiaries."

Qatar, projected by the IMF to have the world's fastest-growing economy this year, plans to more than double the number of hotel rooms, build nine stadiums and refurbish three others and construct a rail and metro network for the tournament. The US estimates that the tournament is worth $5bn (€3.7bn) to the hosts.

Irish Independent

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