The state of Qatar has agreed to sell 25% of the Doha stock market to NYSE Euronext for 160 million euros. With the deal Qatar hopes to become the financial hub of the Middle East and extend its global links.
NYSE Euronext apparently offered more than the other interested party – the London Stock Exchange – in which Qatar’s state investment fund owns a 15%.
Several bourses in the oil-rich region are moving to modernise and expand. Qatar’s stock market is relatively small with the value of the shares trade there just 1.4 billion euros, just behind Kuwait at 1.6 billion and well behind the largest in the region, Saudi Arabia, with seven billion euros of shares traded.