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Sun 7 Apr 2013 09:38 AM

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New $12bn Qatar investment firm set for IPO

Doha Global Investment Co will offer shares to the public in May, says Qatar Exchange chief

New $12bn Qatar investment firm set for IPO

A new $12bn Qatari investment firm, backed by assets from the sovereign wealth fund, will offer shares to the public in May as part of plans by the tiny Gulf state to share its riches with local citizens and institutions.

Doha Global Investment Co, will have a total capital of QR45bn ($12.36bn), 50 percent of which will be in the form of paid-up capital, according to a statement from Hussain Ali Al Abdulla, chairman of Qatar Exchange's board.

Qatar unveiled plans to create the investment firm in February and said its sovereign fund arm, Qatar Holding, will transfer $3bn worth of assets into the new firm, with a similar amount raised in an initial public offering on the Qatar Exchange.

Qatar Holding owns stakes in high-profile global firms such as German sports car maker Porsche and British bank Barclays and has been one of the most aggressive investors globally in recent years.

The initial public offering (IPO) will only be open to citizens, companies and institutions in Qatar. Foreign investors will only be able to buy the company's shares after it is listed.

The potential listing, which would be one of the biggest IPOs conducted in the Middle East, is seen as part of a strategy by the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas to distribute its wealth locally.

The Qatar bourse has underperformed some exchanges in the region this year, such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, due to concerns that listed companies in Qatar are not reaping the benefits of the country's economic growth. The planned listing may help boost liquidity and investor interest in the bourse.

The nominal value of the shares listed will be 10 Qatari riyals ($2.75). A subsequent listing of the shares would happen after the end of the offer period, Ali Abdulla said in the statement, without specifying the duration of the offer period.

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