Officials signing the memorandum of understanding.
DOHA: Qatar Exchange (QE) and Enterprise Qatar (EQ) yesterday announced the launch of an SME Subsidy Programme marking the next stage in the development of Qatari SMEs and the QE Venture Market.
The announcement was made following the signing of an MoU between the two parties. As per the agreement, the QE and EQ will cooperate to design and implement the programme to assist potential small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to list on the Qatar Exchange Venture Market (QEVM).
QE and Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) had previously announced the formation of the regulatory framework for the QE Venture Market and since then the two entities have been working with stakeholders, including EQ, and market intermediaries to promote the market.
Enterprise Qatar, which has the mandate to support the SME sector, and QE realised the fact that for SMEs the costs of ‘going public’ would be a potential concern and they sought ways to assist SMEs in their funding of the fees paid to professional advisers.
Rashid Bin Al Mansoori CEO of QE commented: “We are delighted to have agreed with Enterprise Qatar the basis of a subsidy scheme which will support SMEs in managing some of the costs incurred in becoming a publicly listed company”. He appreciated the authorities for realising the role played by the SMEs in boosting local economy and the decision to launch the project to support the SME sector.
Al Mansoori said the preparatory process for listing is complex with multiple work streams and parties involved. “Qatar Exchange has been working hard with many market participants but cannot predict when the market will have its first listing as it is conditional on a large number of external factors including company preparation time, regulatory approvals and market conditions to name a few. But the whole financial community is working towards a successful market as soon as possible,” he said.
Ali Bin Khaled Al Khulaifi, Acting CEO – Enterprise Qatar said: “Enterprise Qatar is committed to support Qatari SMEs and help them grow as vibrant companies. Helping SMEs ‘go public’ is important. The Enterprise Qatar Subsidy Programme will help SMEs committing to list on the QE Venture Market with a substantial percentage of their initial fees paid to professional listing advisers.”
“Enterprise Qatar has been supporting SMEs through various programmes that include subsidised consultancy services to support them grow and sustain their businesses and facilitate a smooth entry for them into the market”.
“Enterprise Qatar look forward to this initiative providing an additional catalyst to candidates for the QE Venture Market and adding further to the support Enterprise Qatar gives to the important SME sector here in Qatar”, Al Khulaifi added.