Qatar Petroleum (QP) is set to offer shares of four of its subsidiaries to public in what could pave way for the resurgence of the country’s equity market.
“There are four companies with QP now ready to list on Qatar Exchange (QE),” Qatari bourse chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdullah told reporters. He, however, declined to name the companies.
Al-Abdullah, who is also an executive board member of Qatar Holding, the investment arm Qatar Investment Authority, was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on listing of private companies, organised by QE in association with Qatari Businessmen Association.
He said the value of the QP listing could be in the range of $50bn but declined to give specific details regarding the date or whether would it be through initial public offerings (IPO).
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani has said the level of listed companies in the Qatari bourse does not reflect the size and position of the domestic economy.
Qatar’s equity landscape has already seen announcements this year from Barwa Bank and Doha Global Investment regarding their maiden offers and subsequent listing in the QE, which now has 42 listed companies and a market capitalisation of QR494bn.
“In the short term, there are two confirmed listings and investors are keenly looking forward that and going by the recent performance of follow on offers of other companies, the IPOs are expected to oversubscribe,” a market source said.
Barwa Bank is seeking to raise QR1.05bn through maiden offer of 50mn shares at QR21 a piece. Doha Global has a total capital of QR45bn, of which 50% is paid up; while the remaining will be held by Qatar Holding.
National carrier Qatar Airways had earlier toyed with the idea of an IPO but later postponed it, citing unfavourable market conditions. Mowasalat, which operates Karwa taxies and buses, had also expressed its intention to go public but nothing was heard about it later.
“Given the large-scale investments of the state and given the capital needed for the private companies to partake in the development phase of the country, they ought to tap the market sooner or later,” an analyst working with a bank brokerage arm said, adding more the stocks, more the investment options for investors.
Regarding the QP subsidiaries’ listing, market sources said talks about it were rather silent earlier but now it had been made open and “what remains to be seen is whether these entities would be in high value addition chain or otherwise”.
Many private and family-owned companies were reluctant to tap the market, fearing erosion of controlling stake, financial experts said.
They also said that the QE’s junior bourse Venture Market, which stipulates eased entry norms for the small and medium enterprises, has been a non-starter, an issue that needs to be addressed at the earliest. Page 41