Posted on May 05, 2014

Qatar Exchange (QE), in collaboration with QNB Financial Services commenced a week-long roadshow that aims to support the further development and practice of QE’s listed companies’ investor relations. The forums will be hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York and Deutsche Bank in London.

The forum is designed to complement the companies’ ongoing investor relations activities through providing an opportunity for the senior management of listed companies to meet key decision makers from a number of the world’s largest international fund managers. However, the forthcoming inclusion of Qatar in the MSCI Emerging Market Index provided a unique opportunity for Qatar to showcase its market-leading listed companies at a time when the profile of Qatar was set to be raised further. The strength of the Qatar ’story’ means portfolio investors continue to view Qatar as an exciting investment opportunity, a fact that has been reflected in the enthusiastic response to the forum.

The delegation from Qatar is being led by Rashid al Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Exchange. “The timing of our visit and that of our listed companies is of course not a coincidence; Qatar is very proud to have worked alongside the global investment community and MSCI itself in working through the various challenges necessary to secure ‘emerging market’ status. The MSCI (and S&P) decisions to upgrade the Qatari market to emerging market status reflects the recognition of prominent international investment institutions that we are doing many things right in terms of the development of the market infrastructure and the implementation of a number of important projects and initiatives. We also note that the upgrade of Qatar reflects meeting the quantitative requirements for inclusion especially the degree of openness of the market to the international investment community and an established and well-tested operational framework.”

Rashid Al Mansoori added: “It is self-evident that conditions in global equity markets have recovered significantly with the previous extreme ‘flight to quality’ mind-set now in a full-fledged bull phase. We are of course pleased to be undertaking this exercise at a time when the index itself is at or near all-time highs and liquidity is strong.  However, even in this environment we are aware markets themselves and companies are competing for capital and are doing so by competing for the attention of the investor base. Our listed companies are investing time and resource in ensuring they are meeting those changing needs in part by being here today.” 

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Mr Al-Mansoori described the event as an opportunity for a detailed two-way dialogue between investors and companies in a focused one-on-one environment. “Qatar Exchange is pleased to be back in [New York / London] showcasing the best of Qatar with our listed companies; we trust that both sides, corporates and fund managers will find the meetings scheduled over the coming four days to be a worthwhile experience.” 

“Over the past few years, Qatar Stock Exchange has achieved significant growth. It is now a well-established national institution that offers various investment opportunities for local and international investors. The upgrade to MSCI emerging markets status is an important part of Qatar Exchange’s ongoing growth but only one of many important initiatives.  We look forward to working with corporates and investors alike in advancing our role in Qatar and the region for the benefit of all Qatar’s stakeholders. Mr. Al-Mansoori added”.

"MSCI uses a set of 18 measures to determine a country market’s accessibility; chief amongst those for emerging markets are protection of investor assets; openness to foreign ownership and ease of capital flows. Having satisfied the criteria, MSCI is due to include Qatar in the Index in its May re-balancing, Al-Mansoori highlighted.

Abdulla Al-Sada, Deputy CEO of QNB Financial Services, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with the Qatar Exchange on this event.  With more than $1.1 billion in foreign flows into Qatar this year, this event represents a valuable opportunity to reinforce Qatar’s strong investment story to institutions in the US and UK.” Over the five days through a combination of one-to-one and group meetings the listed companies will meet with over 70 fund managers representing 50 major institutions. Those institutions represent the most important funds allocating money to Qatar and the GCC; the two forums together hosted over 200 meetings." 

In aggregate [fourteen] listed companies, representing more than half of the QE market capitalization, will use this opportunity to emphasise to the fund managers their particular investment themes; the Qatari companies participating are:  Qatar National Bank, Doha Bank, Ooredoo, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Industries Qatar, Mesaieed Petrochemical Company, Gulf International Services, Al Khaliji Commercial Bank, Qatar Electricity & Water, Vodafone, Milaha, Qatar Insurance, Qatar Islamic Bank and United Development Company.