Qatar Exchange launches SMEs subsidy program
Doha, February 15, 2014
Qatar Exchange has joined forces with Enterprise Qatar to launch the new SME subsidy programme marking the next stage in the development of Qatari SMEs, the QE Venture Market.
The two entities signed an MoU in this connection thus outlining the basis upon which they will co-operate to design and implement the programme to assist potential small and medium enterprises (SME), which meets the SME criteria set by Enterprise Qatar and satisfy the requirements for listing on the Qatar Exchange Venture Market (QEVM).
The agreement will also aim to boost awareness of the ongoing planning and development of the market reflecting its importance to Qatar and Qatar Exchange.
Qatar Exchange and Qatar Financial Markets Authority had previously announced the formalization of the regulatory framework for the QE Venture Market and since that time has been working with stakeholders, including Enterprise Qatar, and market intermediaries to promote the market.
Whilst the regulatory framework is in place, the development of the market required a long-term investment in issuer education and growth in the supporting eco-system.
Rashid Bin Al Mansoori, the CEO of Qatar Exchange said: “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 expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the Financial Markets Development Committee for its decision to implement this initiative through the EQ and its realization of the importance of the role played by the SME’s in developing the economy of the State of Qatar.
Al Mansoori noted that 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.
Al Mansoori pointed out that this announcement reflects an important next step toward the development of QE Venture Market for both Qatar Exchange and Enterprise Qatar.
"After the listing of our initial candidates in the coming months and years we will be working with the financial community to ensure a further pipeline of suitably qualified companies. To build trust in the market, all of these pioneering companies need to be well prepared and this is reflected in the care we are taking in the preparation phase,” he added.
Ali Bin Khaled Al Khulaifi, the acting CEO of Enterprise Qatar said it is committed to support Qatari SMEs taking them from the idea stage into life to become successful vibrant companies able to stand on their own.
"Helping SMEs ‘go-public’ is an important and natural part of the services we can offer to SMEs. The Enterprise Qatar Subsidy Program will help SMEs committing to list on the QE Venture Market with a substantial percentage of their initial fees paid to professional listing advisors," he noted.
According to him, the Enterprise Qatar has been supporting SMEs through various programs that include subsidized consultancy services to support them grow and sustain their businesses and facilitate a smooth entry for them into the market.
“SMEs can benefit from a range of various services such as providing office space and infrastructure to start operations for entrepreneurs who are looking forward to developing their business ideas into potential successful businesses,” he added.
As per the framework agreement, any Qatari company which meets both the Enterprise Qatar SME criteria and the QE/QFMA Rules for listing on the QE Venture Market will be eligible to apply for assistance through the program which will be limited in scope.
Each successful applicant will be eligible to receive a percentage of the fees payable to their Listing Advisor.
Qatar Exchange and Enterprise Qatar are currently working with a small number of IPO candidates in order to have them ready for the market as soon as possible. Qatar Exchange declined to identify the companies for confidentiality reasons and on the basis the details may change.-TradeArabia News Service