BY SACHIN KUMAR
Doha: The London Stock Exchange is wooing Qatari companies to get listed on the exchange to get global exposure.
The exchange, which is home to almost 3,100 companies from more than 70 countries around the world, is in talks with several companies in Qatar for the London listing.
“We are in talks (for listing on the exchange) with some of the companies based in Qatar. There is very strong interest in London listings at the moment, not only in Qatar but throughout the Gulf region and beyond,” Ibukun Adebayo, Co-Head of Emerging Markets, London Stock Exchange told The Peninsula. “London is the world’s largest centre for international equity capital and is well placed to meet the financing requirements of Qatari companies operating in diverse sectors from energy to hospitality to infrastructure,” he added.
According to the industry sources, some companies may decide to list on the exchange in coming years. Experts say that the listing will help them to raise funds to meet their financial requirement. London listing is better suited for companies that have international focus or global ambitions in addition to domestic operations, or those whose businesses can be understood and valued properly by overseas institutional investors.
“Capital will be a major requirement as Qatar develops the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup and London is well placed to be the leading source of that capital. Secondly, a London listing will give Qatari companies global visibility particularly if they opt for premium listings and also achieve index inclusion in any of the FTSE series,” said Adebayo.
“Also, London listing gives access to a large pool of investors beyond those who invest directly in Emerging Markets such as Qatar. Trading is very robust in London and well valued stocks with adequate free float see a high degree of liquidity,” he added.
The trend of raising funds by the companies in the Middle East by listing on the London Exchange is catching up.
In the past three years, 11 companies have listed shares on the London Stock Exchange to raise money from global investors. Commercial Bank was the first Qatari bank to list its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) on the exchange in 2008.
“Qatari companies from a variety of sectors such as oil and gas, healthcare, infrastructure, banking and financial services, renewable energy, transport can consider a London listing,” he said.
In the 11 months from April 2013 to the end of February, London has seen as many as 162 issues with a total equity capital raising of nearly $47bn which is nearly double of the amount that was raised in the same period in the previous fiscal.