QSE a good investment option for expats in Qatar: Mansoori

September 29, 2020

Buying stocks of firms listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) can be a good investment option for expatriates living in Qatar, the exchange’s chief executive officer has said.
“QSE is an alternative for investments when expatriates do not know what to do with their savings as we have opened up investment in the stock market for everybody in Qatar,” QSE CEO Rashid Al Mansoori said in an interview with The Business Year Qatar 2020.
“What option do you have to invest as an expatriate in Qatar? You can go to the bank or simply invest through a fund. Hence, we are giving them opportunities to find alternative forms of local investment,” Mansoori said.
Highlighting the benefits of investing in stocks, he said, “Investing in the markets is a cash equivalent because you can liquidate your assets immediately through buying and selling. If you invest in real estate and want to get out, you cannot always find a buyer. Furthermore, if you are a small investor you cannot afford to acquire a large building or do a development. The only alternative is the banks, where the interest rates are very low. By comparison, if you go to the stock market, handpick your stock, and understand what you are doing, you will get better returns and good growth in your shares.”
“Investors just need to open an account with QSE and this is how they receive their dividends. You also need to have a bank account in Qatar, but this is a requirement we are reconsidering currently. You can invest through a custodian, such as an international brokerage company,” he said.
Talking about the performance of QSE in recent years, he said, “In 2018, market performance exceeded 20 percent and market capital increased by 24 percent. It was an excellent year for the QSE. To keep up this good performance, we are doing a number of things. One is to include more companies in the Emerging Markets Index and support these companies to reach their goals.”
“We have completed stock split that is aimed at increasing the liquidity of some companies and encourage investors to return to the market. We are also doing some education programmes to provide expatriates with information about how to invest in Qatar,” he said.
To provide investors with more options, he said, efforts are on to list more companies on QSE.
“While there are government companies that we would like to see listed as part of the country’s privatisation programme, we are also working to convince family-owned businesses in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, industrial, pharmaceutical, real estate, and healthcare to list on the exchange. We are seeing a high degree of interest in the stock exchange from these companies. We are very confident that we can maintain our position as the second-largest exchange in the region,” he said.
Talking about the plans for future, he said, “Staying ahead is our plan. This includes working to list more companies and products and studying the derivatives market. We need to keep fit to stay ahead, which we are doing by pushing all these new things in the market.”
Asked what are the main investment opportunities in Qatar for international investors in the upcoming year, he said, “Industry, manufacturing, and agriculture are important sectors that we further have to build on.”

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