16 May 2018 – 9:33

Qatar blue-chip firms hold meetings with fund managers in UK

By Satish Kanady I The Peninsula

DOHA: Eight top QSE-listed companies have met with a number of international fund managers and investment decision makers in London, as part of an ‘investor relations’ event.

The two-day event, jointly organised by Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Deutsche Bank and QNB Financial Services (QNBFS), covered a combination of one-to-one and group meetings and was the first undertaken since the introduction of the new MiFID regime. Listed companies met with market-leading institutions that represented the most important funds allocating money to Qatar, the GCC and the broader emerging markets.

While Qatar Stock Exchange has been a member of key global indices, such as MSCI and FTSE Russell, since 2014 it continues to place emphasis on the importance of an ongoing improvement in transparency and ease of access for foreign investors. The London meetings with the fund managers come in the wake of a number of key listed companies increasing their foreign ownership limit (FOL) to 49 percent.

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Rashid al Mansoori (pictured), CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), who led the delegation said: “We are pleased to once again be working with Deutsche Bank and QNBFS in showcasing some of our leading companies.

“We believe developing a diversified investor base, including domestic institutions and a range of international institutional investors with different investment horizons and perspectives, is central to the development of our equity markets and hence our ongoing commitment to events such as these.”

“Despite challenges we believe the macro picture for Qatar remains resilient with the market experts forecasting increased GDP forecasts for 2018 taking into account the impact of increased forecast oil prices; an expectation of a sharper rebound in hydrocarbon output and an expectation of a reduced economic impact of the blockade on 2018 GDP.

“In addition in the longer term, Qatar’s economy should benefit from a number of recent measures including increased investment in new projects related to the expansion of LNG production and projects aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency and sustainability,” Al-Mansoori added.

In addition to the listed company meetings Qatar Stock Exchange has also taken the opportunity to continue its ongoing dialogue with stakeholders in the market including international brokers and fund managers.

Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, Director, Listing Department said “We acknowledge the commitment of our companies in attending such events as their investor relations’ efforts complement the work being done at a more macro-level in continuing to improve market infrastructure.”

“In turn we believe the commitment of investors to our market is evidenced by the rally in Qatar, with the Qatar All-Share Index up by 12 percent to May 1, after QNB Group, Industries Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar Electricity & Water announced an increase in their foreign ownership limits”, he said.

QNB Financial Services in recent research estimated that the decision to increase the FOL cap will result in attracting an estimated QR7bn (US$2bn) in passive funds into these QSE-listed companies.

Eight listed corporates, representing blue-chip investment opportunities in the Qatari market, used the opportunity to meet with the world’s leading fund managers.

The Qatari companies participating were: Qatar National Bank, Doha Bank, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Masraf Al Rayan, Ooredoo, Industries Qatar (also covering Gulf International and Mesaieed), Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar Electricity and Water Company.