Qatar Wealth Fund Buys NYSE Euronext’s Stake in Local Bourse

Qatar Holding LLC, a unit of the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, bought NYSE Euronext’s 12 percent stake in the Qatar Exchange to become its sole owner.

The sale comes after achieving all the “strategic goals” identified for the exchange when NYSE bought a 20 percent stake in June 2009, according to an e-mailed statement today from the two companies. Financial details of the deal weren’t given. NYSE Euronext paid $200 million for the stake four years ago.

NYSE Euronext assisted with changes at the Qatar Exchange that helped almost double the bourse’s market capitalization, contributing to MSCI Inc.’s decision in June to upgrade the exchange to emerging market status from frontier. The U.S. company helped migrate the Qatar Exchange onto the Universal Trading Platform, changed trading times and introduced bond and treasury bills to the bourse.

“Qatar Exchange has achieved significant progress and made remarkable achievements in terms of developing infrastructure and systems and the diversification of investment tools and services provided to investors,” Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori, Qatar Exchange chief executive officer, said in the release.

The Qatar Exchange and NYSE Euronext will continue to co-operate in technology and expertise, the companies said.

Cut Stake

NYSE Euronext cut its stake in the bourse to 12 percent from 20 percent in December. Reducing the Qatari stake is part of NYSE Euronext’s cost-cutting plan known as Project 14. The exchange started the plan in 2012, after European regulators barred it from merging with Deutsche Boerse AG in February last year. NYSE is now being acquired by IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.

Qatar is seeking to develop its capital market as a way for companies to raise money and grow. The country, holder of the world’s third-largest gas reserves, is planning $200 billion of investments in stadiums, roads, a metro system and a city of 200,000 before hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup.

Qatar Petroleum

Qatar Petroleum, the country’s state-run energy producer, plans to raise 3.2 billion riyals ($879 million) in an initial public offering of a newly-created petrochemical unit this quarter, three people with knowledge of the matter said Sept. 23. Doha-based Barwa Bank, the country’s newest Islamic lender, said earlier this year it also plans to sell shares.

In May, the government postponed plans to raise $3 billion through an IPO of Doha Global Investment, a $12 billion fund set up to acquire stakes in companies abroad.

Qatar is the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas and a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Its 1.9 million people are the richest in the world with a per capita gross domestic product of $102,000, more than double that of the U.S., according to International Monetary Fund data.

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