Qatari shares tumbled 12.5 per cent in the week to Thursday, hit by a probe into suspected market irregularities and lukewarm interest in the bourse's recent opening to foreign investors.
The benchmark Doha Securities Market closed at 9,749.95 points yesterday, from 11,148 the previous week. The index, which has hit record highs on strong oil and gas prices, is still up 50 per cent since the beginning of this year.
A Doha-based economist said local investors were disappointed by a lack of foreign interest after the market widened non-Qataris' rights to trade on April 3.
He said the market was also thrown by reports that some officials were being investigated over allegedly fraudulent dealings in stocks of Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat).
Nakilat closed up 18 per cent at QR69.10 ($18.98) yesterday, its first day of trading on the Doha bourse.
"Although the market will continue to correct itself, the fact remains that Qatar's economy is very strong," the economist said.
Qatar is one of the world's largest natural gas suppliers. High oil and gas prices have fuelled an economic boom, with much of the new wealth invested in the local stock market.
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