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Mon 2 Jun 2014 11:42 AM

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Qatar bourse falls amidst World Cup bribery claims

Profit taking in relation to the MSCI inclusion has also had an impact

Qatar bourse falls amidst World Cup bribery claims
Qatar stock exchange, Qataris

Qatar's bourse retreated this morning as investors
take profits in stocks that jumped last week because of their inclusion in
MSCI's emerging market index, and in reaction to corruption accusations related
to the 2022 soccer World Cup.

The Doha index falls 1.5 percent, underperforming
the region, and MSCI components are among the main drags. Islamic lender Masraf
Al Rayan drops 4.7 percent, Qatar National Bank falls 1.4 percent and Ooredoo
is down 3.7 percent.

"The market had gone up because of the MSCI
inclusion and there is profit-taking now," says Shakeel Sarwar, head of
asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain.

"The other reason could be the negative
sentiment related to the news regarding the FIFA World Cup."

Qatari organisers of the 2022 World Cup on Sunday
"vehemently" denied accusations their successful bid was corrupt,
saying their lawyers were looking into claims made by a British Sunday
newspaper.

The Qataris issued the denial after Jim Boyce, a
vice-president of soccer's world governing body FIFA, said he would be in
favour of re-running the vote for the 2022 host nation, if the allegations in
the Sunday Times were proved.

Sarwar said, however, it was "very premature
to speculate" on the fate of the World Cup. "I don't think the market
is going to price it into valuations," he said.

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