By Lalin Fernandopulle | The Peninsula 3 min read

‘World Cup feat will boost Qatar’s Stock Exchange’

Doha: Having grabbed the headlines for all the good reasons, Qatar plans to provide a fresh boost to its Stock Exchange opening up for more global companies to invest in one of the world’s leading Exchanges following the success of hosting a magnificent and magnanimous sporting event last year. The State has been in the spotlight for its accelerated development plan since winning the bid to host the World Cup and the Qatar National Vision 2030 which is said to give a turbo boost to the country’s development program. Nasser Al Marri (pictured), Chairman DIC Group (Doha International Consulting) told The Peninsula, Qatar expects a growth in the stock market being a successful FIFA World Cup host. The feat Qatar accomplished by hosting the world cup will encourage local and international investors. He said Qatar’s entry into new agreements in the energy sector will help boost the economy while the state focuses on diversifying into other industries. The expected IPOs this year will change the dimension in business interest in Doha. Major investments are expected in infrastructure development and rapid growth is visible in the steel, commercial ship repair, fertilizer and agriculture industries. “Qatar’s understanding of the stability of the stock market will serve the wider economy in terms of spending and investments and it helps companies to raise investments. The stock market offers a way to invest in mega companies for the local businessman and it is considered to be a noticeable source for investment with high growth potential,” Al Marri added. Damaan Islamic Insurance Company ‘Beema’ made the first direct listing on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) on Monday setting a precedent for more local and international companies to follow suit. QSE Acting CEO Abdulaziz Al Emadi said ‘Beema’s entry into the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) was a significant move that paved the way for many local and international entities to list on a leading stock exchange in the world. Following Beema’s entry will be the end-to-end IT services firm in Qatar MEEZA to be the first company in the country to use book building to carry out an initial public offering this month, the company said in a statement recently, as Qatar aligns itself with international practices. The company, part-owned by telecom operator Ooredoo said it is selling 50 percent of its share capital in a public-share sale with a planned listing on the Qatar Stock Exchange. The IPO process, which begins this month, will allow the company to offer a price range to test investors’ appetite and determine the IPO price. The offering’s price range is between QR2.61 ($0.7135) to QR2.81 per share, which could raise between QR846m and QR911m. Qatar introduced the regulations for book building in February 2021 to help entice foreign investors and elevate its status towards a developed market. Until now, the standard practice in Qatar has been for a company to set a price based on feedback from two independent valuation reports. In its statement, MEEZA said the book building would follow regulator the Qatar Financial Markets Authority’s offering and listing regulations, including “a set of new procedures that would provide additional options for companies wishing to offer and list in the financial market”. Beema’s entry in the stock market and Meeza’s initial public offering have been hailed by financial analysts as moves that will set the trend for many local and international entities to benefit from a rapidly growing Exchange in the world. Qatar, the world’s leading exporter of LNG is turning its attention to diversifying its economy away from gas in line with its National Vision 2030.