The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), which has become a focus of interest for many foreign investment portfolios from the US, Europe and Asia, has readied its infrastructure to admit new companies and instruments.
“The QSE, the region’s largest emerging market and the second largest in terms of market capitalisation, has maintained its position in 2018 and has become a focus of interest for many foreign investment portfolios including US, European and Asian as well as local investors, citizens and residents,” said HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce as well as QSE chairman.
He also said the QSE, whose average daily trade turnover stands at QR275.11mn, plays a pivotal role in encouraging family and private companies to transform into public shareholding companies which in turn will support the national economy.
Stressing that the QSE has made great strides in promoting investment awareness among existing and potential investors in the market, he said the promotion of local investment awareness is based on a set of pillars aimed at promoting sound and best practices for sustainable investments.
The foreign ownership limit increase has strengthened the position of the Qatari companies listed on MSCI and S&P emerging markets indices and the FTSE Russell secondary emerging market index.
Chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori highlighted the QSE’s commitment to encouraging further listings of Qatari companies.
“We are always ready from a technical and infrastructure perspective to list and admit new companies and instruments to our market,” he said.
The 20-stock Qatar Index was the best performer worldwide among emerging and advanced markets in 2018 with a 20.83% return and its market capitalisation increased by 24.7% to QR588bn last year.
With regard to the bourse’s strategy, he said it will continue to focus on attracting new investment and capital flows to the market and “we are fully aware that to achieve this requires active marketing.”
During 2018, the QSE actively participated in several investor roadshows across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
It also held annual roadshows and investment forums to complement investor relations (IR) activities of listed companies, providing an opportunity for the senior management of listed companies to meet key decision makers from the world’s largest international fund managers and brokers.
On increase in the weighting of Qatar in the MSCI emerging market index, al-Mansoori said this led to a marked improvement in inflows from foreign investors looking to invest in Qatari listed stocks. These actions demonstrate the openness of the Qatari economy and what makes it the most competitive and fastest growing in the region, he added.
“As we head into the future, we will remain focused on adopting and promoting best practices in global financial markets with an emphasis on sustainable growth,” al-Mansoori said.
He said sound transparency and disclosure practices are vital factors in today’s markets to attract foreign funds.
“Our policy of product diversification is integrated with and complementary to the best transparency and IR practices, he said.