The Qatar Exchange is to launch a bond trading market in the third quarter of 2011, Qatar Exchange chief operating officer Olivier Gueris told delegates at MEED’s Qatar Infrastructure Projects 2011 conference in London on 4 July.

The aim is to provide an alternative way for government agencies and private companies to raise finance rather than direct government funding or bank loans.

“We will be launching bond trading and bond listing on the Qatar Exchange in Q3 2011,” Gueris said. “The first step will be listing Qatar government sovereign bonds. The next step is corporate bonds. We intend to play a key role by allowing listing a on secondary market. Then ETF [exchange-traded funds] trading, sukuk and derivatives trading. Also a junior market for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises]. To support IPOs [initial public offerings] and listings.”

Gueris said trading levels on the Qatar exchange had been hit by the political uncertainty. “We had been seeing daily trading of QR5bn ($1.4bn) a day at the start of the year, which is up from the previous year of QR350m,” he said. “But trading suffered a lot from the Arab Spring and trading levels are still 2.5 per cent down, at about QR325 m a day. But it is picking up.”

Qatar Stock Exchange has 43 listings so far, which Gueris said was not enough.