The Qatar Financial Center (QFC) is aiming to account for at least 5% of the market capitalisation of the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) through the listing of its entities on the local bourse. The QFC also plans to triple foreign direct investments (FDI) flows from its registered firms to more than QR200bn in the next five years, according to its top official.
As many as seven to eight QFC registered firms have evinced interests in seeking listings on the local bourse, QFC chief executive Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said, unveiling the 2017-22 roadmap, which also aims to have a total of 1,000 firms registered and create 10,000 jobs in the private sector.
Highlighting that the QFC would allow more stock listings and financial products on the bourse including exchange trade funds (ETFs), sukuk, real estate investment trusts and family-owned companies, he said, “We aim to achieve 5% QSE market capitalisation.”
At present, there is only one QFC registered entity, Qatar First Bank (QFB), which got listed on the QSE last year.
“I am confident that this milestone will pave the way for more QFC firms to be listed in the near future,” he said, adding seven to eight firms in the financial services sector are interested in listings on the local bourse. “QInvest and SEIB are closest to the listing,” he said, without giving further details.
QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori had earlier said the QFB listing would pave way for more QFC firms to seek listings in the bourse, especially after it introduced single window system to smoothen the process.
On ETFs, which have been on Qatar’s corporate radar for the last seven years, al-Jaida said two listing are expected within two months. Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank have already disclosed their plans to launch ETFs.
The Masraf Al Rayan ETF, which will track the 17-stock Al Rayan Islamic index, will be managed by Al Rayan Investment Company, a subsidiary of the bank; while Doha Bank ETF, which will track the 20-stock Qatar Index, have Amwal and Group Securities as fund manager and liquidity provider respectively.
The indicative per unit value of ETFs has been fixed at one-hundredth of the previous day’s close of the respective indices, it is learnt.
Al-Jaida said there are credible evidences to show that QFC is an ideal platform, not only for international companies who want to expand their business activities to Qatar, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia; but also for local businesses looking to expand regionally and internationally.
Highlighting that Qatar’s real economic growth remained “healthy” at 3.9% in 2016, a trend that is likely to continue this year as well; he said these statistics confirm its belief that there is no better time for international and local companies to expand through Qatar and make use of the country’s strong economic foothold.
The QFC is eyeing to triple the assets (foreign direct investments) of more than 300 QFC registered, which now stands at QR75bn, to more than QR200bn, he said, adding QFC would “very soon” introduce a new law governing to attract more foreign investments.
The new roadmap also seeks to establish a financial city in Msheireb Downtown Doha and the relocation of the QFC and its firms would be undertaken in three phases with the first phase to be completed by the first half of this year.
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