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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Vast majority of publicly listed Qatar companies make Forbes top 500 Arab list

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Forbes has listed some 40 Qatar-based companies in its latest Power 500 list for the Arab World.

Ranked in the top 10 are three of Qatar’s largest state-backed companies: QNB (4th), Ooredoo Telecom (7th) and Qatar Industries (10th).

The results, which were released this week, ranked publicly listed companies in the region based on financial results such as total revenue, net profit, total assets and market capitalization.

Currently, only 42 companies are listed on the Qatar Exchange, and the fact that almost all of them made the Power 500 indicates that only the biggest players in the country are public.

Just last week, for example, Bloomberg ranked QNB as the world’s strongest bank, after it reached some $100 billion in assets for the first time.

No Exchange culture

Earlier this month, Qatar’s Prime Minister urged more business owners to change that by taking their companies public, in an effort to help diversify the country’s economy away from natural gas.

Addressing business owners at the Four Seasons, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said: 

“Turning family-owned businesses into public shareholding companies listed on the stock market increases the overall effectiveness of the economy, and has a positive impact on the local economy as a result of developing standards and controls for family-owned businesses, which represents a real added value to the national economy. 

Given the number of listed companies at the moment, we believe that their number does not reflect the size and position of the Qatari economy due to the fact that large influential economic entities still remain outside the market.”

Days after his address, Qatar announced that it was postponing the $12 billion initial public offering of the new Doha Global Investment, over delays in “regulatory approvals.”

Previously, the IPO, which was intended to be a way for Qataris to participate the country’s global financial expansion, was criticized as being over-ambitious.

In the Forbes index, Saudi Arabia’s SABIC and Saudi Telecom ranked first and second respectively, while the UAE-based Etisalat took third.

Other companies in Qatar that made the top 50 in the Forbes rankings include: Commercial Bank Qatar (29th), Qatar Islamic Bank (35th), Masraf Al Rayan (37th), Kahramaa (40th) and Qatar Fuel (49th). 

See the full list here.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Qatar Exchange

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