14 Nov 2017 – 0:11

H E Sheikh Abdulla bin Saud Al Thani (fifth right), Governor at Qatar Central Bank; Sheikh Fahad bin Faisal bin Thani Al Thani (fourth right), the Deputy Governor at Qatar Central Bank; Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari (fifth left), CEO, Qatar National Bank; Abdul Rahman Al Ansari (second right), CEO of QIMC; Rashid Al Mansoori (fourth left), CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE); Nasser Ahmed Al Shaibi (third right), CEO of QFMA, and other officials at 1st Conference on Corporate Governance and Launching of Governance Report Book held at Four Seasons Hotel, yesterday. Pic: Kammutty VP / The Peninsula

By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula

Effective corporate governance and openness to the world are important tools to create an attractive environment for investment. And Qatar’s financial market and listed companies have witnessed significant developments in this regard since the inception of Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) in 1997, noted a top official of the Qatari bourse at an event yesterday.
Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of QSE, while addressing the opening session of the Corporate Governance Conference said that ‘independent thinking and constructive initiatives’ are the key principles on which QSE is working to achieve the required economic openness, the removal of obstacles to investment, in line of the directions of the Emir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The corporate governance process in Qatar started with 17 companies listed at the opening of the stock exchange. Today, the number of listed companies have reached 45 representing many important economic sectors and the largest national companies with a strong presence not only at the national level but also internationally.
Highlighting the process of corporate governance in Qatar since its inception, Al Mansoori said: “The Qatari financial market and listed companies have witnessed rapid developments that have led them to take responsibility for compliance with the rules of governance that ensure transparency, responsible management and sustainability.”
The QSE was the Strategic Partner of the conference organised by Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) under the patronage of H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani, Governor of the Qatar Central Bank, who is also the Chairman of QFMA.
Al Mansoori pointed out that the strong interest in corporate governance has emerged as a result of the increasing complexity of the legal and international environment, increased investor participation in market development, growing awareness among investors and companies about the risks of not practicing good governance, and the importance of corporate responsibility to their local communities.
Commenting on the significance of practicing and improving corporate governance, Al Mansouri said that good governance would help listed companies to obtain financing and ensure that the value of the company’s shares is maintained and sustained over the long term.
“Healthy corporate governance can be seen as an indicator of the administration’s democracy and participation in the formulation of good policy. Social responsibility in protecting the rights of the minority and small investors, achieving equitable economic development and contributing to the protection of the environment,” he added.
“The Qatar Exchange believes that it is important to commit to the cause of sustainable development and to secure a better future for the coming generations from the human, economic, social and environmental development in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, where corporate governance is one of the sustainability mechanisms we seek to share.”
He said that the primary driver of QSE’s strength is Qatar’s huge economic potential and a constant and continuous drive to diversify its economy, which has become a strong and resilient market, making it a promising market with many opportunities.
He stressed that the QSE has maintained its distinction as one of the best markets in the region, and second in terms of market value.
At the end Al Mansoori expressed his gratitude to the organisers and sponsors of the conference for providing the appropriate conditions for holding the conference, which was also the launch of the first book on corporate governance consisting of some major companies listed on the Qatar Exchange.