Qatar joins Saudi in relaxing foreign access to bourse

August 6, 2014 7:26 pm

Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has approved a law allowing foreigners to own up to 49 per cent of shares in companies listed on the Qatar Exchange.

Until now, foreigners could only acquire up to 25 per cent of Qatari companies. Under the new regulation, however, foreign investors will also be able to become majority shareholders if the Ministry of Finance gives them permission.

In an effort to diversify its hydrocarbon-driven economy, expanding its market and subsequently developing its financial industry will be a priority for Qatar in the next few years. Following Saudi Arabia’s decision in July to open its $550 billion valued bourse to foreigners, the GCC is on course to become a real hub for global investors.

Worth noting, nonetheless, is that citizens of GCC states will qualify as Qataris, thus have no such restrictions on their investment portfolios.