Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Qatar’s First IPO Since 2019 Sees Shares in QLM Soar 24%

(Bloomberg) — The shares of QLM Life & Medical Insurance Co. jumped as they debuted on Qatar’s stock exchange, as the restoration of ties between the gas-rich nation and its Gulf neighbors cleared the way for businesses to expand outside of their home market.

The stock soared 24% to 3.90 riyals by the close after the first initial public offering on the Doha-based bourse since 2019. Qatar Insurance Co., which will retain a 25% stake in QLM after raising 659 million riyals ($180 million) from the sale, finished 0.2% lower while the main equities index in Qatar ended slightly higher.

Qatar Insurance Co., the Middle East and North Africa’s largest insurer by market capitalization, is planning to channel the proceeds to expand its main property and casualty unit as well as other business lines, QIC Chief Investment Officer Chirag Doshi said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday.

The income will also help boost QIC’s capital position and the liquidity generated from QLM’s stake sale will be invested in very liquid high quality bonds, he said.

QLM, which counts the government pension fund as an anchor investor, gets close to 80% of its revenue from Qatar and the rest from Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The listing was the first in Qatar since the debut of dairy producer Baladna at the end of 2019, and was the country’s first IPO conducted completely online.

(Updates with final prices in second paragraph and adds chart.)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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