4 years later, Qatar Petroleum to release first IPO since financial crisis
Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co, a unit of state-owned energy giant Qatar Petroleum, will launch a 3.2 billion-riyal ($880 million) initial public offering of its shares in the local market next month, officials said on Sunday.It would be the first IPO since 2010 in Qatar’s stock market, after the global financial crisis froze issuance.
Authorities want to revive IPOs as a way to develop Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, into a regional financial hub. For political reasons, the government also aims to use IPOs to spread more of its energy wealth among its citizens.“We encourage citizens to take part in this investment and also to await other opportunities in the pipeline,” Energy and Industry Minister Mohammad Saleh Al Sada told a news conference.
Qatar plans to conduct IPOs worth 50 billion riyals in its stock market over the next 10 years, he said. The tiny country has a population of about 2.1 million, roughly 250,000 of whom are local citizens.The Mesaieed Petrochemical offer, open only to Qatari citizens, will be conducted between December 31 and January 21. Trading in the shares is expected to start in February, Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi said.The offer price of the shares will be 10 riyals each, plus listing costs of 0.2 riyal per share; the IPO will comprise about 26 percent of the company.
The offer is likely to attract solid demand, considering the strong performance of the Qatar market, said Marwan Shurrab, a fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments, a regional firm. The main stock index is up 24 per cent year-to-date and near five-year highs.
“We’re expecting IPOs to come in 2014, which makes sense after Qatar’s year-to-date performance,” he said. “Companies are well-positioned to capitalise from that. IPOs in Qatar and other regional markets will be the main focus in mid-2014.” Mesaieed Petrochemical holds stakes in ventures that manufacture polyethylene, caustic soda and other chemical products. Its partners in the ventures include the US company Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.
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