NYSE Euronext buys stake in Qatar Exchange

Published: June 22, 2009

Qatar Holding, the strategic and direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and NYSE Euronext have formed a partnership which will establish Qatar Exchange (formally known as Doha Securities Market) as an international exchange.

NYSE Euronext is taking a 20% stake in the Qatar Exchange (QE) for US$200mn, the largest investment ever made by NYSE Euronext in a foreign exchange. Both the state of Qatar and NYSE Euronext have committed to work together in partnership to develop opportunities in the Middle East region.

QE is one of the Gulf’s biggest stock markets and is valued at about US$1bn. It is starting to trade under the new name and management from June 21. There will be no immediate changes to the existing DSM market practices.

According to a spokesman for QIA, a flotation is being considered but no details have been given, yet.

The Board of QE will be chaired by Khalid Al-Attiyah, state minister for international cooperation and the acting minister for business and trade. Ahmad Al-Sayed, managing director and CEO of Qatar Holding, will be vice-chairman.

Commenting on the announcement, managing director and CEO of Qatar Holding, Ahmad Al-Sayed, says: “This latest strategic venture will allow Qatar’s financial markets to run on state-of-the-art technology systems. Technology and market know-how transfer opportunities will greatly enhance our knowledge and help generate more high value employment opportunities for our people. When our stock exchange starts trading on June 21 as the Qatar Exchange, it will truly be the start of a new era.”

QE’s CEO will be Andre Went, who previously served as a managing director based at NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam. Other roles in which he served during more than 20 years in the Euronext group include director strategy and market development director group policy, Euronext Paris, and head of secondary markets in Amsterdam.

NYSE Euronext provides services and technology to QE and will take three of the 11 seats on the QE board of directors, sic directors will be appointed by QIA and two directors will be independent.

Established in 1995, DSM officially commenced operations in May 1997. DSM has grown to become one of the leading stock markets in the Middle East. It has 42 listed companies and its market capitalisation has climbed to US$75.3bn from US$5.2bn in 2000. Since 2005, non-Qataris have been allowed to invest in all companies listed on the market.