The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) is slated to see an initial public offering (IPO) this September, which ought to give a fillip to the primary segment for a sustainable capital market, its top official said.
"We are looking at an IPO this September from one of the local companies with strong capital," QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori told a webinar on sustainable development of Qatar's economy, organised by Doha Bank.
Indications are that two maiden offers are on the tap in the near-term and those are from the real estate and risk cover sectors. Earlier there were reports that Rayyan bottled water firm may seek a listing.
The QSE has already introduced the single-window system for the companies wishing to go public through IPO. The IPOs are expected to bring depth and diversity for the market, which has been witnessing steady interests from foreign investors since the global index compilers MSCI, Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones and FTSE Russell upgraded Qatar to ‘emerging market' in view of progressive reforms.
Highlighting that the need of the hour is for a sustainable model; al-Mansoori said what the QSE, the second largest bourse in the region, is lacking is the primary market.
The market, which had 860mn average daily volume, reached 2,640mn in the year that saw the entry of MPHC (Mesaieed Petroleum Holding Company) in the trading ring.
He was replying to a specific query about the QSE's post Covid-19 outlook from Doha Bank group chief executive Dr R Seetharaman, who was also the moderator of the two-hour session.
Asserting four to six listings a year are ideal, al-Mansoori said "But I will be happy even if we have two a year."
Baladna, a local integrated food and beverage company, was the recent one to come out with an IPO, which was oversubscribed.
In order to strengthen the primary market, the QSE official said, family-owned companies, which constitute 90% of the private sector firms, need to enter but they are rather "shy".
Investment Holding Group (IHG) had come out with its IPO in 2017, making it the first family business in Qatar to go public through a maiden offer.
The family-owned companies represent a large untapped market for future listings which will help in diversifying the country's capital market.
According to KPMG Qatar, family-owned companies make a significant contribution to Qatar’s national economy but they face their own unique challenges.
Asked whether the QSE, which is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges, has plans for collaborations with the other bourses, al-Mansoori said, "We have plans to penetrate Asia" with China and Singapore in the initial phase but the roadshows had to be held back due to the pandemic.
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