The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) is set to witness four listings (including two exchange traded funds or ETFs) this year, according to its top official.
“ETFs are on the pipeline and in the final process and we hope to see listings this year. We are looking for the listing of at least one ETF in the first half,” QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori told reporters on the sidelines of an investor relations award ceremony on Monday.
Two ETFs – sponsored by Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank – are expected to be launched this year.
“As a stock exchange we are ready with technology and other support systems to accept them and it is up to them (ETFs) now,” al-Mansoori said.
The Masraf Al Rayan ETF, which will track 17-stock Al Rayan Islamic index, will be managed by Al Rayan Investment Company, a subsidiary of the bank; while the Doha Bank ETF, which will track the 20-stock Qatar Index, have Amwal and Group Securities as fund manager and liquidity provider respectively.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the indicative per unit value of ETFs has been fixed at one-hundredth of the previous day’s close of the respective indices in a bid to make it attractive to investing public.
The proposed ETFs offer not only an expanded portfolio but also give investors a “viable” strategy to grow with the market at “considerably” lower costs.
Asked about the the QSE’s reported plan to introduce short-selling, al-Mansoori said it would come with the ETFs. However, to a specific query on whether short selling will be allowed in the individual stocks, he said it is up to the regulator (the Qatar Financial Market Authority) to approve.
On expanding the investment universe, he said two more companies (apart from two ETFs) are likely to be listed on the bourse by this year. However, neither did he disclose the sector from which it would come nor made it clear whether it would be through initial public offer (IPO). Qatar has previously seen the listing of companies even without an IPO.
The first GCC IPO of this year came from Qatar, as Investment Holding Group hopes to garner around QR491mn at a pricing of QR10.1 per piece. However, its details including subscription trend is yet to be made public, even after the extended deadline was closed.
Qatar’s bottled water company Rayyan and construction major UrbaCon Trading and Contracting, the developer of Mall of Qatar, had last year announced their IPO plans. Malomatia, an IT company, plans to float its IPO by 2019. The QSE last year introduced a single-window system to ensure smooth and speedier IPOs and follow-on offers. A special committee, comprising members of the QSE and QFMA, would now look into all the aspects of listing and trading. Page 16
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