Fears Over Qatar Losing World Cup Lead to Stock Decline

Jun 04, 2014 9:30 am

Skift Take

Not to be cynical, but this is hardly the only nation that’s bribed its way to the head of the World Cup host pack.

— Jason Clampet

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2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Supreme Committee Secretary-General Hassan Al-Thawadi speaks during a news conference to announce the start of work on Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha. Reuters

Qatar’s shares fell for a third day led by industrial companies on bets the Persian Gulf nation may lose the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, potentially jeopardizing some of its $200 billion investment plans.

The benchmark QE Index lost 0.6 percent to 13,143.55, the lowest since May 22 on a closing basis, at 10:51 a.m. in Doha. Industries Qatar QSC, the country’s biggest petrochemicals company, declined as much as 2.5 percent. Rashid al Mansoori, chief executive officer of the Qatar Exchange, said in an interview today that the nation won the World Cup bid with “credibility” and corruption allegations were just “noise.”

Qatari equities, which are among the world’s best performers this year, have lost 3.9 percent in the last three days after Britain’s Sunday Times reported that payments were made to soccer officials in return for the Arab country’s bid to host the tournament. Al Mansoori said today the exchange is taking steps to “keep fuel in the market.”

“If countries are asking for a re-vote, this will hurt the market further,” Hisham Khairy, the Dubai-based head of institutional trade at Mena Corp. Financial Services LLC, said by e-mail today. “I would stay away at the moment and wait for things to settle.”

The Middle East nation which holds the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves plans to spend as much as $200 billion on projects including stadiums, roads and hotels in the run-up to the event. A panel studying the possibility of corruption in the bidding process said it will issue its findings in July.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Doran in Dubai at jdoran24@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net. 

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