Qatar Petroleum unit is first of several Qatari companies set to list shares in 2014
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company raised QR3.23bn ($880m) through its initial public offering (IPO), its parent company Qatar Petroleum (QP) announced. The unit is set to list on Qatar Exchange in February.
The offer, representing 25.725 per cent of the company, was fully subscribed, according to QP.
Only local investors subscribed to the offer as foreigners are not allowed to take part in IPOs of companies looking to list on the Qatari stock market. They are able to trade in Qatar-listed shares on the secondary market, however.
Mesaieed is the first of several, mainly government-related, companies that are set to list shares. The government announced in 2013 that it is planning to launch IPOs of several QP subsidiaries in the coming years, while Barwa Bank is expected to go public in 2014.
The plans to increase the number of listed companies is part of a wider governmental strategy to deepen Qatars stock market, which struggles to attract liquidity. It hopes to double the number of listed companies in the next five years, Zain al-Abdin Sharar, director of legal affairs and enforcement at Qatar Financial Markets Authority, told MEED Qatar Banking Summit in September.
In January Qatar Central Bank announced that a central securities depository had been formed, part of a plan to upgrade the structure of financial sector.
Qatar is also looking at raising foreign ownership limits on several companies. That could help cater to higher demand resulting from its MSCI upgrade to emerging markets status in May 2014.