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Wed 10 Sep 2014 03:26 PM

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Qatar to launch venture share market for SMEs in 2015

Ten SMEs have applied to list on the new market and five of them have so far fulfilled the requirements

Qatar to launch venture share market for SMEs in 2015

Qatar will launch a venture share market for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) early next year, Qatar Exchange chief executive Rashid al-Mansoori was quoted as saying.

Ten SMEs have applied to list on the new market and five of them have so far fulfilled the requirements, Mansoori told Qatar's The Peninsula newspaper in an interview.

The five companies "are in the process of getting listed, which means that by early 2015 we will have not less than five companies as part of the new and emerging SMEs stock market," Mansoori was quoted as saying, without naming the firms.

Qatari authorities are taking a number of steps to energise and deepen the stock market, such as encouraging companies to raise limits on foreign ownership of their stocks. The Qatar Financial Markets Authority has proposed cutting the par value of shares to 1 riyal from 10 riyals, to boost market liquidity.

On listing requirements for the venture market, Mansoori told The Peninsula: "We are asking for a capital of 5 million riyals ($1.4 million), and of that only half needs to be paid up."

Mansoori also said the exchange was continuing to follow up on the plans of two Qatari banks, Barwa Bank and Qatar First Bank, to list their shares. Barwa has been planning to go public for over a year.

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