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Qatar property stocks nosedive after FIFA arrests, World Cup probe

Real estate index down 6.55% on Thursday following news of investigation into voting for 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments

PHOTO: Qatar is currently building the stadia and other infrastructure to host the World Cup in 2022. Credit: Supplied

Shares in Qatar’s property sector continued to fall on Thursday amid negative sentiment in the market following news of arrests at the football body FIFA and an investigation into how hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments were awarded.

The Doha real-estate index was down 6.55% by 12.51pm on Thursday, following a 2.14% drop on Wednesday. The index as a whole was down 2.22% to 11,957.20. The United Development Company was down 2.16%, Mazaya Qatar shed 1.53% of its value, while Barwa dipped by 1.17%.

“Clearly news about the FIFA officials is impacting sentiment and has pushed the market lower, but on generally weak volumes,” Akber Khan, director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha, told Reuters.

Ezdan Holding lost the maximum 10% limit on the Doha exchange, attributed to profit-taking after a previous surge.

Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

But its right to host the tournament has again been called into question after Swiss police this week said they will question several FIFA executive committee members who took part in the voting for the 2018 World Cup – which was awarded to Russia – as well as the 2022 tournament.

Police also arrested severeal FIFA officials – charged with crimes including racketeering and money laundering – who are expected to be extradited to the United States. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was not among them.

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