Posted on December 03, 2016

Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) hosted on Thursday an awareness seminar on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), in collaboration with QNBFS. The purpose of the event was to generate awareness about ETFs in Qatar. It brought together global ETF experts, local asset managers, regulators and institutional investors to debate the potential of ETFs in Qatar as.

In the welcome remarks, Mr. Rashid bin Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, stressed on the importance of ETFs and stated that they are increasingly important part of the investment landscape, covering every conceivable asset type, market sector and trading strategy. He added that the ETFs are used by a wide array of investors because of their cost effectiveness and ease of use, pointing out that Qatar Stock Exchange is delighted to be part of this investment revolution. Mr. Al-Mansoori pointed out that “we are expecting to list two ETFs on Qatar Stock Exchange in the very near future. The first ETF follows QE Al Rayan Islamic Index; and the second one follows QSE Index.’ He added that the ETF initiative is just one of many that we have introduced or are working to introduce to our market as means of broadening the range of products and services we offer and to improve the capital markets infrastructure.

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“In recent times we have seen the introduction of liquidity provision as a service for our listed companies, the introduction of margin trading, and the trading of rights issues. We have seen the inclusion of debt products and the first QFC registered entity joining our other listed companies. We hope that these products and initiatives will be followed in due course by other products such as REITs, the introduction of new services to such as securities lending and borrowing and covered short selling and the launch of the Venture Market to help to serve our SMEs,” Al-Mansoori stated.

"What we seek to achieve could not be achieved without the support of all parties in the Qatar capital market. I am pleased to take this opportunity to thank the Qatar Central Bank, the QFMA and the QCSD for their efforts in transforming ideas and initiatives into reality for the benefit of investors and our national economy. We remain wholly committed to the principles and ambitions advocated in Qatar’s National Vision 2030. We support its goals of achieving a well-diversified and sustainable economy and believe that the Qatar Stock Exchange has an important role to play in achieving these goals," Mr Al-Mansoori concluded.

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The interactive workshop had active participation from the attendees who also discussed the ETF products for the Qatari market and the benefits it would bring to the investors by allowing them to diversify their holdings and to allow them new investment opportunities. Mr. Rahul Thakrar, Vice President, Middle East and Africa ETF Sales, iShares/Blackrock, gave a presentation in which he explained why regional and global markets offer investment opportunities in ETFs. He also explained the benefits of ETFs and how they are essential to build investment portfolios, adding that ETFs globally have 3 trillion dollar of assets under management. 

A panel discussion highlighted the evolution of ETFs in Qatar and challenges that need to be addressed by the regulator and depository. The esteemed group of panelists included Mr. Mohsin Mujtaba, Director of QSE Market Development; Mr. Akber Khan, Senior Director Asset Management, ARI; Mr. Hesham Kalla, Treasury & Investments, Doha Bank; and Mr. Bobby Sarkar, Head of Research QNBFS.

The panelists also discussed the importance of ETFs to the local capital market and said that they are very vital to build investment portfolios and thus they are widely used by institutional investors and increasingly by financial advisors and retail investors to achieve passive exposure according to preferred investment strategies, allow investors big and small to build institutional-caliber portfolios, gain convenient access to markets that would otherwise be difficult to invest in, implement tactical adjustments to portfolios, and allow investors to hedge the market.