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Qatar May Allow Foreigners to Fully Own Listed Companies - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 16, 2021

Qatar may allow foreign investors to fully own listed companies, in a move that could trigger more than $1 billion of overseas inflows.

The cabinet approved a draft law that will allow overseas investors to own up to 100% of listed companies, according to the state-run Qatar News Agency. If the law is implemented, companies would have to individually approve the increased limit.

The gas-rich nation is following similar decisions by other Gulf countries as they seek to attract inflows from abroad. In 2019, the United Arab Emirates said it would allow foreigners to own 100% of businesses across industries and Saudi Arabia removed a cap on ownership of publicly traded companies for foreign strategic investors.

While implementation in Qatar is yet to be confirmed, the decision could trigger inflows of about $1.5 billion into listed companies and it would earn bigger representation in global benchmarks, according to estimates by investment bank EFG-Hermes.

Some of the stocks that could benefit the most include Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, Masraf Al Rayan QSC and the Commercial Bank of Qatar, the investment bank said.

Qatar’s QE Index is up 1.6% this year and has underperformed most peers in the Gulf as well as the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which has so far advanced 3.5%.

Read more: Qatar Eases Rules on Foreign Property Ownership Amid Slump


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