Qatar bourse in talks for foreign ownership
Doha, March 24, 2011
Qatar stock exchange is in talks with authorities to allow foreign ownership in the bourse as it eyes an emerging market tag from index compiler MSCI, its chief executive said.
Allowing foreign ownership in the Gulf state's bourse was a key criteria set by influential index complier MSCI in its review of the country for a potential upgrade to an emerging market status. MSCI's review is pending June, 2011.
'We are discussing it with the relevant authorities,' chief executive Andre Went told reporters.
When asked if he was confident about meeting the criteria set out by MSCI, the executive said, 'There's no decision so it doesn't make sense to speculate the outcome.'
Last week, the bourse, under review by MSCI for the last two years, said effective April 11 it will switch to a 'delivery versus payment' (DvP) and will seek to implement reforms in the equity markets throughout the year.
DvP is the standard international settlement system and MSCI has said its absence was a key reason for maintaining frontier market status for both Qatar and UAE in its 2010 review.
The bourse is also considering allowing trading of bonds by the second-quarter and will start with trading of government bonds and slowly move to corporate bond trading, Went said.
Qatar bourse was the best performing Gulf market in 2010 with a 25 percent gain. - Reuters