Qatar’s IHG to list on bourse despite diplomatic crisis

It will be the first listing since the regional crisis erupted in June



Family-owned Qatari conglomerate Investment Holding Group plans to list on the local stock market next week in a sign that authorities intend to push ahead with developing Qatar’s financial markets despite a diplomatic crisis.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism. This has caused many Gulf investors to pull deposits and equity investments from Qatar.

However, the Qatar Stock Exchange said on Sunday that it had approved the listing of IHG’s shares on Aug. 14, which would increase the number of firms listed on the exchange to 45. It would be the first listing since the crisis erupted.

IHG offered 49.8 million shares, or 60 per cent of its share capital, at a price of QAR10.1 per share in its initial public offer during January, making the value of the IPO about $138m.

Qatar’s blue-chip stock index plunged as much as 13 per cent after the diplomatic crisis began but has now rebounded to within 6 per cent of its pre-crisis level, with exchange data showing non-Arab foreign investors were net buyers during the recovery.

Excluding IHG, the market has seen only two new listings since 2010, which through its subsidiaries is involved in construction, shipping, real estate and education services. It is the first family business in Qatar to list its shares; the market is dominated by state-controlled firms.

Qatar Stock Exchange chief executive Rashid Ali al-Mansoori told Reuters in late June that other initial public offers of shares were likely in the third quarter of this year, including a family-owned industrial company.

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