Qatar SWF Goes Public With Fund Management IPO

Doha Global Investment Company is to offer shares to the public in May.

(April 8, 2013) -- The Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund-backed Doha Global Investment Company is to offer shares to the public in May, as part of a plan to share the tiny Gulf state's assets with local citizens and institutions.

The Qatari investment firm will have a total capital of QR45 billion ($12.36 billion), half 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.

The other half will be owned by the private sector, giving Qatari institutions and individuals the chance to invest around the world alongside the state.

Qatar only created the investment firm in February; its sovereign fund arm, Qatar Holding, owns stakes in high-profile global firms such as German sports car maker Porsche and British bank Barclays.

Bad news for foreign investors though - the initial public offering (IPO) will only be open to citizens, companies and institutions in Qatar. Overseas investors will only be able to buy the company's shares after it is listed.

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.

In a new twist, Qatar Holding has decided to seek a credit rating in the coming months, Sayed told the Financial Times, to reflect its standing as a major global investor.

A rating would force the high profile, but opaque, fund to be more transparent about its structure. 

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