Category Archive : Economy

Stock market indices

All you need to know about stock market indices

Ibex, NASDAQ, Dow Jones… may all ring a bell but most people still have trouble understanding these financial concepts. While these give name to some of the most important stock market indices, the truth is that there are hundreds of them. But, what do they really stand for and what is their function?

A stock market index is frequently defined as measurement or indicator which reflects the value of a specific section of the stock market at a specific point in time. More specifically, each of these is comprised of different companies or assets that gather common characteristics and their numerical value is calculated on the basis of their performance. Therefore, both traders and investors use these indicators as a tool to decide their trading strategies and forecast the return of their investments. Yet, not all stock indices are the same nor formed according to the same criteria.

Types of stock market indices

There are four major categories of stock market indices: national, regional, international and sector-related. Of these, the most quoted ones are the national indices, which are those comprised by assets from the same country. A well-known example is Dow Jones Industrial Average, which integrates 30 of the most powerful companies in the USA, along with S&P 500 from the same country.

Something similar occurs in Europe with the most powerful assets of each country featuring a common national stock market index. That is the case of, for example, the British FTSE 100, the Spanish IBEX 35, the German DAX 30 or the French DAC 40, among many others. Likewise, we find the Japanese Nikkei 225, the Hang Seng Index from Hong Kong and the SSE Composite from Shanghai as the most prominent indices in Asia whereas the Mexican IPC, the Argentinian Merval and the Chilean IPSA stand out in South America.

The third group corresponds to those indexes which extend beyond national boundaries or have a supranational origin. Notable among these are the MSCI World, comprised by more than 1,600 companies from 23 different countries; the Eurotoxx 50, which integrates the 50 most important companies in the eurozone; or, the S&P Asia 50 including companies from the stock exchanges in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, to name some.

The fourth category of stock market indices refers to those consisting of companies belonging to a common sector. Wilshire US REIT, for instance, is made up by a total of 80 assets from the real estate sector, whereas Nasdaq 100 gathers 100 assets belonging to the technological sector.

Bitcoin: the new safe haven asset

A new group of assets that are gaining popularity in recent years are the cryptocurrencies, of which most popular representative is the Bitcoin. This digital asset works as any other currency with the exception that it is neither linked to any state nor operates within the framework of the stock market.

Although the value of this asset keeps fluctuating due to its recent creation, some experts expect that it will reach the price of 1.000.000 USD in the next years. Such optimistic forecast has inevitably attracted greedy traders as well as investors seeking to store their cash in times of crisis and geopolitical instability.

Working in Qatar: the reasons why many professionals opt for this destination

Established as the richest country in the world and a major gas and oil producer, Qatar has also become one of the biggest and most promising markets for those seeking for job opportunities. For this same reason, it is not surprising that more of the 80% of its population is made up of expatriate communities who have already chosen this emirate to boost their professional careers. And the reasons are many.

Being an economy of constant growth which aims for an ambitious yet sound development of its infrastructures and industry, there is a high number of well-qualified vacancies in Qatar. Not only business-related jobs such as engineers, sales representatives, marketing agents and accountants are wanted; but also doctors, nurses, chefs and teachers are among the most demanded ones. Most often, these positions are accompanied by relaxed working days, high salaries (at QR16,500 on average), health insurance and, last but not least, no personal taxation.

Although safety tends to be most people’s concern when deciding about the move, the truth is that this Middle-Eastern country is among the safest and most stable of the region, with very low criminal rates. By contrast, it offers excellent living standards with world-class educational and healthcare institutions fueled by major government investments. For the most part, accommodation is spacious and rather new with the most popular options being the so-called villas or compounds where 24-security, swimming pool, gym, cleaner and even cafés, supermarkets or squash courts in the most upmarket ones are found.

Despite its Islamic culture, the welcoming and forward-thinking attitude of this emirate has attracted expatriates from all over the world, including Indian, Lebanese, American, British, French, Spanish and Canadian citizens, among others. This has greatly contributed to create a multicultural environment with an interesting choice of leisure activities, bars and restaurants of all kinds. For those who are wondering, the consumption and purchase of alcohol is permitted but limited to the licensed hotels, bars and stores. Night clubs and music venues have particularly proliferated in Doha in recent years, boosting the nightlife options in the capital. Nonetheless, Qatar economy extends far beyond its oil and gas reserves as well as its world-famous capital.

Qatar, much more than just Doha

Contrary to common belief, Qatar is much more than just Doha. In recent years, and to a great extent fostered by the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a number of different urban centres are rapidly developing. These, perfectly connected to the capital, have in turn become the headquarters of many of the big companies settled in the country.

If not already the case, within a few years Qatar is expected to become a global centre for international trade and tourism alike. To do so, as it is constantly claimed by the Qatari Government, they will employ all the available means and resources that are necessary.

Newcomers will soon find themselves shopping in their innumerable ultramodern malls and colourful souqs, exploring its magnificent desert, smoking sheesha and enjoying, among other delicious dishes, the famous sish taouq.