Qatar allows full ownership for foreign investors

Qatar has approved legislation allowing 100% ownership for foreign investors in most sectors of the economy in a bid to boost non-energy revenues, AFP reported Thursday (December 4th).

The move is an attempt by Qatar, the third largest economy in the Gulf, to secure new revenues to finance a budget deficit due to the slump in oil prices since mid-2014.

Overseas investors will be able to fully own businesses in almost all economic sectors but they are not allowed to purchase real estate or own franchises, according to the ministry of economy and trade.

To invest in the banking and insurance sectors, foreigners need to secure a special permit from the government, the law states.

Currently, foreign investors can own up to 49% of companies listed on Qatar's stock exchange in accordance with a law passed in 2014.

The new law was approved at the cabinet's weekly meeting on Wednesday.

"The draft law aims to increase tax revenues, protect foreign and local investors and boost Qatar's status in global economic indicators," according to a statement by the ministry.

It is not yet clear when the draft law will come into force.

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