Qatar hits 5-year low as diplomatic rift hits firms

Updated 18 September 2017
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Qatar hits 5-year low as diplomatic rift hits firms

DUBAI: Qatar’s stock index hit a five-year low on Monday because of a fresh sign that a diplomatic dispute in the region was starting to inflict long-term damage on some of its companies.
Shares of Qatar Insurance dropped 2.3 percent after the company said it was closing its Abu Dhabi branch because it had not been able to obtain a license. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5.
Its Abu Dhabi business, which had been operating since 2002, used to bring in annual gross premiums of 110 million Qatari riyals ($30 mln), the company said.
Qatar’s main stock index fell 1.2 percent, dropping for an 11th straight session and bringing its losses since the diplomatic rift developed to 16.6 percent.
“The market is in free-fall at the moment and until there is clarity about how the crisis will be resolved, I don’t see a floor,” said a regional fund manager.
The Saudi index edged down 0.1 percent, hit by declines in most banking stocks as investors booked profits on recent gains. Bank Aljazira, which had risen 3.9 percent on Sunday, lost 0.9 percent.
Airport service operator Saudi Ground Services dropped 3.5 percent after saying it plans to distribute a dividend of 0.65 riyal per share for the second quarter, the same as in the year-ago period.
Dubai’s index rose 0.8 percent as theme park operator DXB Entertainments, the top performer of the day, jumped 6.2 percent; trading volume was moderate, though. Emaar Properties added 2.2 percent.
The Egyptian index edged down 0.2 percent but Arabian Food Industries (Domty) rose 1.6 percent after saying it expects its third-quarter revenue to reach 700 million Egyptian pounds ($39.7 million). Second-quarter revenues were 487 million pounds.


Mike Pompeo on China trade war: ‘We are going to win’

Updated 23 September 2018
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Mike Pompeo on China trade war: ‘We are going to win’

NEW YORK: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed that the United States would emerge victorious in an intensifying trade war with China, a day before Washington imposes $200 billion worth of tariffs.
“We are going to win it,” Pompeo said in an interview on Fox News broadcast Sunday.
“We’re going to get an outcome which forces China to behave in a way that if you want to be a power — a global power — transparency, rule of law, you don’t steal intellectual property,” he said.
Pompeo said that President Donald Trump “very much likes” his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping but said he would press policies that “the American workers deserve.”
Even before Trump’s election, the United States has complained vigorously that China has been unfair to US businesses and has stolen technology by forcing firms to reveal secrets as a condition to operate in the fast-growing Asian economy.
But Trump has taken an increasingly hard line on trade around the world, with $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese exports set to take effect on Monday.
China has retaliated by hitting $60 billion in US products and the world’s two largest economies have already imposed tariffs of $50 billion on each other.
In a first, the Trump administration has also punished a unit of China’s defense ministry for buying fighter jets and missiles from Russia in defiance of sanctions on Moscow.