DUBAI, June 18 (Reuters) - The Qatar Exchange said it would introduce trading of government bonds issued by the central bank on June 20, as part of measures to deepen the Gulf state's debt market and diversify investment tools for banks and other institutions.
The listing of government bonds is a step towards launching a market for corporate bonds which would help companies finance their expansion plans, the exchange's chief executive Rashid Bin Ali al-Mansoori said in a statement on Tuesday.
Four government bonds will initially be available for trading and future quarterly issues are expected to be listed, the exchange said. It launched trading of government Treasury bills in December 2011.
In March this year, the central bank began quarterly issues of riyal-denominated government bonds and sukuk, with maturities of three and five years. It has said it plans to issue a total of 16 billion riyals ($4.4 billion) this year.
Banks in Qatar often buy bonds to hold rather than to trade, so trading activity may be small in coming months. But Qatar has said it is keen to develop financial market activity, to raise its profile as a regional banking centre and to help finance tens of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton)