By Joanne Bladd
EXCLUSIVE: Seraj Al Baker says the listing will take place 'very soon', follows an eight-month delay.
Mazaya Qatar, the Gulf property developer, is to list its shares on the Qatar Exchange “within weeks”, its chief executive has said, following an eight-month delay.
The Qatari affiliate of Kuwaiti developer Al Mazaya raised QR500m ($137.1m) in a public issue in January earlier this year, but its actual listing has failed to materialise.
“It will be very soon, you heard it here first. I think within weeks. We have been very patient,” said Seraj Al Baker, CEO, Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development.
The company struggled to complete its IPO in January amid weak investor appetite and a tumbling regional property market. Just QR22m was raised in the first week of subscription, Mazaya Qatar said earlier this year.
The firm has laid much of the blame for the listing delay at the Qatar Exchange’s door. According to Al Baker, Mazaya Qatar was poised to list within weeks of closing the subscription to investors.
“I think summer came on, and then the markets were taking a beating. They were all down and that is not the time to list. By doing that you add more fuel to the fire and I don’t think the regulators didn’t want to do that, didn’t want to hurt the market. So they have to choose carefully,” he said.
Qatar Exchange’s change of ownership also took a toll on the process, Al Baker said. Formerly known as the Doha Securities Market, the bourse was rebranded and relaunched in June 2009, following the sale of a 20 percent stake to NYSE Euronext for $200m. The remaining 80 percent is held by Qatar Holdings.
A new trading platform was installed at the Exchange earlier this month.
“The other part is, of course, the stock exchange went through a change, and it had a new manager. They want to understand and do things, and we were unfortunate in the sense that this all happened during our watch. Hence the delay,” said Al Baker.
“I promise everyone I had nothing to do with it [the delay]. We were ready to go into the market perhaps two weeks after the IPO.”
Kuwait's Al Mazaya Holding owns a ten percent stake in Mazaya Qatar.