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Qatar shares head for worst month since 2009

Qatar’s shares fell, heading for the worst month in more than five years amid lingering concerns it might lose the right to host the 2022 football World Cup.

The benchmark QE Index tumbled 2.4 percent to 11,816.50, the lowest since March 31. The shares have lost 14 percent so far in June, poised for the biggest monthly drop since February 2009. Shariah-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan led the decline with a 4.8 percent retreat. A FIFA panel looking into the awarding of the tournament to Qatar will issue a report in July into the possibility of corruption.

“Investors are still fretting about the World Cup” and foreign institutions continue to take money out of the market, said Bobby Sarkar, head of research at Qatar National Bank Financial Services.

The FIFA investigation follows a report in the U.K.’s Sunday Times newspaper earlier this month that alleged football officials had received payments in return for support for Qatar’s bid. The gas-rich nation, which plans to spend $200 billion ahead of the games, has denied the allegations and said it won on merit.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 27, 2014, on page 5.

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