The lack of initial public offerings (IPOs) launched on Qatars stock exchange is an issue that should be tackled by the government, says Nicholas Wilson, chairman of the London-listed Qatar Investment Fund.
The government has to actively encourage family businesses, locally-owned state firms or aspects of state companies to launch IPOs, he told delegates at the Euromoney Qatar conference held in Doha on 10-11 December.
He added that since the fund was established in 2007, the Qatari exchange has come on leaps and bounds and the market has better depth, but noted that there are still a limited number of listed stocks when compared with other markets.
Tackling the liquidity problem so foreign investors can get a foothold will take a while, he said.
Earlier this year, Qatar was upgraded by the US-based index compiler MSCI from frontier to emerging market status. Wilson says this upgrade will help.
The move to emerging market [status] has huge implications in the long term, he says.