Business | Markets

Qatar may list bonds, sukuk this year

Doha sold 14b riyals of treasury bills by end of March and plans to sell 4b riyals a month

  • Bloomberg
  • Published: 00:00 April 17, 2012
  • Gulf News

Doha: Qatar may list local-currency government bonds and sukuk on the country's bourse this year as it seeks to deepen its debt market.

Qatar, which had the world's fastest economic growth last year according to the International Monetary Fund, started listing treasury bills on the exchange at the end of last year.

"Now we are talking to the issuing government about the next steps," Andre Went, chief executive officer of the Qatar Exchange, said in an interview at a Bloomberg conference in Doha. Asked when the listing of sukuk and bonds may follow, he said: "It may happen this year. It's feasible this year," he said.

Qatar started selling treasury bills in May to mop up excess funds in the banking sector and set benchmark rates for companies to issue local-currency debt.

The country may spend close to $100 billion (Dh367 billion) in "the medium-term" on projects, including the completion of a port and airport, a metro system and roads, the IMF said in a January report.

The nation has riyal-denominated government bonds and sukuk due between 2012 and 2019, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The country sold 14 billion riyals of treasury bills through the end of March, Central Bank Governor Shaikh Abdullah Saud Al Thani said in a speech at yesterday's conference.

The government, which plans to sell 4 billion riyals of bills a month, paid an average of 2 per cent at the last sale on April 3, Shaikh Abdullah said after the auction.

"Our initial interest is to build a yield curve in Qatari riyal," Went said. "We would be open to listing US dollar-denominated bonds as well."

Qatar, rated AA at Standard & Poor's, its third-highest investment grade score, sold $5 billion in international bonds in 2011, the region's single-biggest issuance of the year. The yield on the 3.125 per cent dollar bonds due January 2017 declined 31 basis points, or 0.31 percentage point, this year to 2.59 per cent in Doha yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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