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Wed 2 Jan 2008 11:09 AM

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Gulf exchange poised to go public

Qatar's stock market could be converted into company and sell shares to public, local media reports.

Qatar's stock market could be converted into a company and sell shares to the public, Doha-based daily the Peninsula reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

Regulations to allow the Doha Securities Market to become a company wholly owned by the government were in process, the newspaper said on its website on Tuesday.

"The law allows the minister to offer part of the government shareholding in the company to the public and list it," a source was quoted as saying.

"The idea to list the exchange is inspired by the fact that it is a profit-making venture and its income is expected to keep growing with more companies seeking listing in the future," the paper said.

Dubai Financial Market Company became the first Arab bourse to sell shares in a public and private offering at the end of 2006.

In November, Saudi Arabia appointed a board of directors for a state-owned company that will run its Tadawul stock exchange, the largest market in the Arab world, in a step towards a planned initial public offering (IPO). (Reuters)

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