• Unclear whether new rules apply to state-controlled investors
  • Central bank can allow exceptions for up to 10 percent stake

Qatar is slapping curbs on bank shareholders.

Investors must limit their holdings in publicly traded banks and financial firms to 5 percent of a company’s capital, or 10 percent with a central bank waiver, according to regulations published Monday by the Qatar Central Bank and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority.

Shareholders who exceed the limit via direct or indirect ownership have five years to comply with the caps, the official Qatar News Agency reported, citing statements from the regulators. It wasn’t immediately clear if the rules apply to state-controlled investors. A spokesman for the central bank declined to comment.

Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, owns stakes including 51.9 percent of Qatar National Bank SAQ and 17.4 percent of Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Real estate developer Ezdan Holding Group’s assets include 9.9 percent of QIB and 21.5 percent of Qatar International Islamic Bank.

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