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Qatar rolls out $275M market program in latest foreign investment push

The Qatar Investment Authority is setting up a market-making initiative to draw in more foreign investor interest and build up its capital markets.
KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, announced Tuesday that it will invest $275 million in an initiative to build its financial markets ecosystem. 

The duration of the commitment is planned for the next five years and will cover 90% of the market capitalization, or total value of shares, listed on its Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE).

The value reached $172.50 billion with 46 traded companies as of May 23, 2023, according to QSE.

What happened: The Qatar Investment Authority is setting up a market-making initiative, which provides solutions to make a market more liquid and profitable, to the tune of $275 million (1 billion Qatari dinars) to draw in more foreign investor interest and build up its capital markets.

The market-making program at the QSE comes “following the successful launch and initial implementation of QIA's market-making initiative in September 2022,” according to the sovereign wealth fund’s press release issue today.

QIA said the program is expected to help develop liquidity in the market by improving price discovery, the ability to determine the price of market assets. It will also aim to garner investor confidence and incentivize more foreign asset managers to invest in Qatar to diversify the country’s capital markets.

Why it matters: The Qatar Stock Exchange saw its largest foreign investment flows in its history in 2022, according to QIA, and as a result the sovereign wealth fund is pledging the $275 billion to maintain this momentum and grow the country’s economy.

Overall, Qatar attracted $29.78 billion in FDI  in 2022, according to the country’s investing brand, Invest Qatar. It said that backed by the country’s strong economic growth, despite the global slowdown, Qatar recorded 135 new FDI projects and created 13,972 new jobs in 2022.

This is almost 25 times the number of FDI projects from 2021 and about double the number of jobs created, reported Qatar invest. The new jobs reached across sectors ranging from traditional oil and gas to software and information technology sectors.

Qatar's economy is expected to grow at 4% in 2023, which is lower than its 4.75% growth achieved last year, according to Standard Chartered. This downward trend reflects the growing impact of the global economic slowdown in 2023 with global GDP forecast to fall from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Know more: Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said it has been “difficult” to ramp up the airline’s business in China again following the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum. He said that his airline was seeing huge demand for travel post-pandemic but a “massive shortage” of capacity due to a lack of labor and new aircraft deliveries thanks to supply chain issues.

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