QInvest, the investment bank that’s
49 percent owned by Qatar Islamic Bank, is working to conclude two “reasonable
size” mandates for initial public offerings by local companies this year, its
chief executive officer said.
“We are looking to conclude one
transaction in the second-quarter of 2011, and the other in the second half,”
Shahzad Shahbaz said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. The size of the IPOs
is yet to be determined, he said.
QInvest, Qatar’s largest investment
bank, is still planning to offer its shares to the public as it pursues
expansion in the Middle East, Shahbaz said. “We are looking at early 2012, in
the first half, depending on market conditions.” he said. “If there was a good
story there would be appetite in the market.”
IPOs in Qatar, the world’s largest
exporter of natural gas, generated QR502.5m ($138m) in 2010 in one offering
compared with QR3.38bn in 2009 also in a single share sale, data compiled by
The Shariah-compliant investment
bank is eyeing “organic” growth in the Middle East, focusing on Saudi Arabia,
Turkey and the UAE, Shahbaz said.
The company has obtained a
provisional license from the Saudi Capital Market Authority to set up business
in the kingdom, and is awaiting final authorization to start operations. “We
hope to be up and running as soon as possible, subject to the regulator giving
us a green light,” he said.
The firm has also received a license
from Turkey and is setting up a representative office in Istanbul to “identify
opportunities in investment and investment banking” and aims to start business
within 30 days, he said.
In the UAE, the bank is seeking
approval to set up a brokerage business and is hoping to conclude this by the
second quarter. “It is part of our plan to build a regional brokerage business,
and initially it will be very small,” he said.
Qatar Islamic Bank increased its
stake in the QInvest about six months ago, from 25 percent initially to 49
percent at present, QIB Spokesman Chouaib Othmane said on Tuesday.
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