Islamic investment bank Qatar First Bank (QFB) is keen to capitalise on the growth of the Qatari stock exchange with the launch of an initial public offering (IPO).

The listing has been in the pipeline since 2012, but the current market conditions are increasingly favourable for a successful launch, QFB’s acting CEO Ahmad Meshari tells MEED.

“The Qatar Exchange has been reaching record levels – much higher than levels seen in 2008. Everyone is optimistic about the equity markets and they are very positive about the companies listed on the Qatari exchange. So we want to be part of the winning team, as well,” he says.  

As of 14 April, the Qatar Exchange Index stood at 12,144.19, which is 17 per cent higher than the same day last year. The index steadily improved during 2013 to finish at 10,380 points, an increase of 24 per cent on the previous year.

A listing will help support the bank’s growth, says Meshari. The investment bank moved into commercial banking in 2013 and is aiming to expand this division.  

“This strategic move will provide our existing shareholders with the ability trade their shares on the Qatar Exchange and will provide QFB with access to capital for future acquisitions and growth plans,” he says.

The bank has submitted the required paperwork for the potential listing and is now awaiting approval from the regulators.

“There is no specific time frame for the listing, but it has been an objective for the bank from the beginning. There were some requirements regarding achieving a certain level of profitability which we successfully achieved,” Meshari says.