* Mesaieed Petrochemical offer raises $880 million
* Demand said to be strong
* Open only to locals; foreigners can buy in secondary
* Start of a series of IPOs envisaged by government
* Offer completed ahead of MSCI upgrade of Qatar
(Adds context, analysis)
By Amena Bakr
DOHA, Jan 22 Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co,
a unit of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, raised 3.2 billion riyals
($880 million) in the Qatari stock market's first initial public
offer (IPO) of shares since 2010, the parent firm said on
All 323.19 million shares offered, amounting to 25.725
percent of Mesaieed [IPO-MPHO.QA>], were sold and demand was
strong, Qatar Petroleum said, adding that the stock
would start trading on the market next month.
The three-week offer, which ended on Tuesday, was open only
to Qatari nationals. Qatar Petroleum did not give details of who
bought the shares, saying that would be announced by Jan. 30.
The global financial crisis froze IPOs in Qatar but the
government wants to revive them as a way to develop the tiny
country, which is the world's top exporter of liquefied natural
gas, into a regional financial hub. It also aims to use IPOs to
spread more energy wealth among its citizens.
Qatar plans to conduct IPOs worth 50 billion riyals in its
stock market over the next 10 years, the industry minister said
last month. The country has a population of about 2.1 million,
roughly 250,000 of whom are local citizens.
Mesaieed holds stakes in ventures that manufacture
polyethylene, caustic soda and other chemical products. Its
partners in the ventures include the U.S. company Chevron
Phillips Chemical Co.
The stakes held by Mesaieed generated combined revenue of
4.3 billion riyals and net profit of 1.6 billion riyals in 2012,
Qatar's stock market, with a capitalisation of about $150
billion, is preparing for a new influx of foreign money in May,
when international equity index compiler MSCI has said it will
upgrade Qatar to emerging market from frontier market status.
New stock listings would help the market absorb the funds.
The finance minister has said foreigners will be allowed to buy
a total of up to 15 percent of Mesaieed in the secondary market.
Authorities took care to make the IPO financially attractive
- Qatari citizens will be entitled to allocations of additional
free shares in coming years if they keep the bulk of the
Mesaieed shares that they buy in the IPO.
The government also said before the offer that it would buy
750 of the company's shares as a gift for each disadvantaged
Qatari citizen - those receiving social insurance payments and
people with special needs.
(Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Mark