Finance house on track for IPO, eyeing acquisitions in wake of Qatar’s Islamic finance ruling
Barwa Bank, the Qatar-based Islamic finance house, is mulling a plan make its trading debut this year, the company’s CEO has said.
“[An IPO] remains our broad intention,” Barwa CEO Steve Troop told the Peninsula newspaper. “But these are lengthy processes and there are a number of different authorities that are required to be consulted and we are initiating that process at this time.”
No further details about the size of the IPO or a more specific timeframe were announced.
However, Troop did indicate that Qatar’s recent decision to terminate the Islamic finance operations of the country’s conventional banks was an “exciting move”.
“The closure of Islamic windows of the conventional banks is a very interesting development and one that is overwhelmingly positive for organisations like our own,” he said.
"We have at this stage no formal plans for acquisitions, although we are clearly interested in discussions around opportunities that these changes and circumstances might create.”
In early February, Qatar’s central bank issued a circular saying that it had instructed conventional banks to stop Islamic operations, in a move that sent stocks in Islamic banks in the country soaring.
Barwa is one of four Islamic lenders in the country, and the only one that is unlisted.
After the central bank decision was announced, shares in Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Masraf Al Rayan all rose by more than nine percent.