Despite hopes for a market upgrade that could drum up some $1 billion in investments for the country, Qatar will likely not get emerging market status this year, analysts say.
The tiny Gulf country, which is currently classified as a frontier market, has tried unsuccessfully to be upgraded to emerging market status for at least three years.
Index provider MSCI postponed its decision in June and is expected to decide today on whether to change Qatar and nearby UAE’s economic fates.
MSCI has warned Qatar would be disqualified because of its 25 percent foreign ownership limit, but the gas-rich nation has not amended the ceiling, saying it was up to individual companies to open up their shares more to non-Qataris.
“I doubt it will happen for the UAE or Qatar, although the decision is not as clear-cut as we previously thought,” said Fahd Iqbal, EFG Hermes strategist…
“An upgrade would very positive, despite the tiny weightings – it could provide the trigger to bring interest back to UAE markets,” said Iqbal. “Money would come in, not only from emerging market funds, but also from local and regional investors too.”
Any predictions, folks?