DUBAI - Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) said on Tuesday it was committing up to 1 billion riyals ($275 million) towards a permanent market-making program that will enhance liquidity on the local bourse.

The $445 billion sovereign wealth fund said the commitment is set to run over the next five years and will cover 90% of the size of the market capitalisation listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE).

The QIA said the move will also help improve price discovery and diversify capital markets in the country, which would help the market attract foreign asset managers to invest in local shares.

Qatar 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 country's focus on organising the World Cup.

Qatar's bourse is set to welcome 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 Andrew Mills; writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh; editing by Jason Neely)