Qatar to introduce options, futures in new derivatives exchange - regulator

Trader watches an electronic share price display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha
A trader watches an electronic share price display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

DUBAI, March 27 (Reuters) - Qatar's bourse plans to introduce a new derivatives market that will allow investors to trade options and futures on local stocks and its equity index, the country's financial regulator said on Monday.

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) issued a new regulatory framework for listed derivatives after a three-month consultation with investors and market participants.

The exchange also plans to set up an entity that will provide clearing and settlement services for trades in options and derivative contracts, QFCRA said in the statement.

The technology for the central clearing counterparty will be powered by technology from the London Stock Exchange Group, the statement said.

"The launch of the derivatives exchange will be an important milestone in the development of the Qatar capital markets and Qatar's ambition to move to developed market status," Qatar stock exchange's acting chief executive Abdulaziz Al Emadi was quoted as saying.

Qatar, the world's top LNG exporter and recent host of the FIFA World Cup 2022, is still classified as an emerging market by index benchmarker MSCI. Its now turning its attention to building its equities market by opening it up to a wider investor base and introducing more listings.

The country missed an IPO boom that swept neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year and market insiders attribute the dearth of deals in Qatar to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the focus on organising the World Cup.

In January, Qatar's bourse welcomed its first IPO, IT services firm MEEZA, in almost three years under new regulations which allowed companies to offer a price range to test investor appetite and determine pricing.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by Bernadette Baum and Christina Fincher

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