DOHA: Just days ahead of being conferred the coveted MSCI Emerging Market status on June 2, Qatar has decided to raise the limit of foreign ownership in listed companies.
Foreigners (excluding nationals of other GCC states who are to be treated on a par with Qatari nationals) can now own up to 49 percent of the entire capital of a company listed on Qatar Exchange. The move is aimed at attracting more foreign capital into the Qatari equity market.
Rules until now permit foreign ownership of only up to 49 percent of free float shares (listed shares) of a listed entity.
The Emir, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, yesterday issued directives to raise the percentage of non-Qatari ownership in the listed entities up to 49 percent.
Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that the Emir issued the above instructions as chairman of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment (SCEAI).
The Emir also directed that other GCC citizens be treated on a par with Qataris in the matter of ownership of shares of Qatari listed companies.
It is, however, not known if the initial public offerings (IPOs) that are open only to Qataris would also be open to other GCC nationals. The above announcements were made by the Minister of Finance, H E Ali Sharif Al Emadi, who is the secretary-general of the SCEAI, said QNA.