The Qatari market has been upgraded from a frontier market to an emerging market by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
Qatar Exchange, the national exchange in the Middle-Eastern state, said the change in status will help increase foreign interest in Qatar stocks.
The exchange said the decision reflects steps taken in recent years to develop market infrastructure and implement a number of crucial projects and initiatives.
“This upgrade will attract more international investors to the stock market, on the grounds that many international investors are interested in investment in the emerging markets as the upgrade reflects the compliance with the best international practices and standards”, said Rashid Bin Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Exchange.
S&P said it opted to upgrade the status of the Qatar Exchange due to the degree of openness the market offers to the international investment community and its established operational framework.
It also achieved several milestones including several large companies on the market increasing foreign ownership limits and the introduction of a delivery versus payment system in 2011 to protect investors.
Qatar Exchange has also introduced securities lending and borrowing facilities and has seen market participation grow to a level equivalent to other S&P emerging markets.
The exchange currently has 42 listed companies with a combined market capitalisation of over QR500 billion (US$127 billion).