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Qatar Financial Markets Authority Issues New Rules For Listed Companies

The Qatar Financial Markets Authority (“QFMA”) has issued new rules for the dividend distribution to shareholders of listed companies. The rules introduce substantial changes in the mechanisms for the annual dividend distribution to shareholders in public shareholding companies listed on Qatar Stock Exchange (“QSE”). These changes include regulating the interim dividend distribution (quarterly, semi-annually) for such companies. The new rules will come into effect in 2024.

The new rules will allow QSE-listed companies to distribute interim dividends that provide investors with a periodic return (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) on their investments without waiting for an annual dividend distribution, promoting the reinjection of dividends into the market thereby increasing market activity.

Prior to announcing the new rules, the QFMA conducted a comprehensive study on interim dividend distribution and found that most investors prefer interim dividend distribution as it guarantees investors a faster cycle of income, provides them with an investment alternative to savings pools in banks, and makes investment in public-listed companies more attractive.