Armed with MSCI, Standard & Poor’s and FTSE upgrades to the emerging market status, a dozen Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE)-listed companies, constituting around half of its capitalisation, yesterday pitched for more foreign investments before the global fund managers in London.
Ooredoo, QNB, Commercial Bank, Doha Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Nakilat, Milaha, Al Khaliji, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar Electricity & Water Company, Industries Qatar and Al Meera were present at a roadshow, organised by the QSE in coordination with Goldman Sachs, with a view to promoting investments in the listed companies.
“The road show is an opportunity for the Qatar-listed companies to work alongside the global investment community and benefit from the upgrade to an emerging market status which reflects the recognition of prominent international investment institutions that we are doing many things right in terms of the development of market infrastructure and the implementation of a number of important projects and initiatives,” QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori told the London forum.
The roadshow comes close on the heels of the QSE putting in place a new single window system to speed up the listing process in the domestic bourse, a move that could see more listings on the main bourse as well as in the Qatar Venture Market for small and medium enterprises within this year.
Qatar’s financial regime has also undergone changes with an Emiri Decree last year allowing up to 49% foreign ownership limit (FOL) in the listed companies, which are now at 44 with the latest addition being Qatar First Bank.
So far, Nakilat, Milaha, Ezdan Real Estate, Qatar Insurance, Commercial Bank, Aamal Company, Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance, Doha Bank, Al Khaliji and Gulf Warehousing have received approval from the Qatar Central Securities Depository to enhance the FOL up to 49%.
The (London) forum is designed to complement the companies’ ongoing investor relations activities through providing an opportunity for the senior managements of listed companies to meet key decision makers from a number of the world’s largest international fund managers, a bourse spokesman said.
Describing the event as an opportunity for a detailed two-way dialogue between the international investment institutions and Qatari listed companies in a focused environment; al-Mansoori said the inclusion of Qatar in the emerging market indices provided a unique opportunity for Qatar to showcase its market-leading listed companies.
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