The IPO will be the largest since the government sell-off of a 45 per cent stake in Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel)and is part of a strategy to give the private sector a greater economic role (Qatar, MEED Special Report, 7:3:03, pages 28-30).

Industries of Qatar will take over the majority stakes held by Qatar Petroleum (QP)in Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco), Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) and Qatar Fuel Additives Company (Qafac). It will also assume control of all the shares in the state-owned Qatar Steel Company (Qasco).

QP, which will hold an 85 per cent stake in Industries of Qatar, says that all the formalities related to the transfer of shares will be completed by the end of April. The next step will come in May, when a detailed circular will be issued for the IPO. The circular will provide details on the businesses being transferred to Industries of Qatar and the price of shares to be offered to investors.

Three international firms have been advising the government on the project. They are accountants Ernst & Young, law firm Clifford Chanceand HSBC.