The State of Qatar has been upgraded from a \"Frontier Market\" to \"Emerging Market\" status by the leading global index \"MSCI\". Qatar Exchange welcomed the decision of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, describing it as a positive step towards the development of Qatar Exchange and milestone that will attract further foreign investments to the Qatari stock market. Commenting on the occasion, CEO of Qatar Exchange Rashid bin Ali Al-Mansoori expressed satisfaction to upgrade the rating of the Qatari market to emerging market, which clearly and evidently reflects the recognition of the positive steps made by Qatar Exchange over the past years to meet the MSCI requirements, in terms of the development of the market infrastructure and the implementation of a number of important projects and initiatives, which were welcomed by the international financial and investment institutions. Al-Mansoori stated that the Qatar Exchange, which has a market cap of over QR 512 billion (more than $140 billion), is one of the leading stock exchanges in the GCC and MENA regions, and since it was established in 1995, Qatar Exchange has made great strides in the development of infrastructure, diversification of investment tools available for trading, and launching of many initiatives that have helped various types of investors to enter the market and invest in a more easily efficient and orderly manner. He added that Qatar Exchange has also achieved a great success in complying with the best international practices at various levels, including regulatory issues, operational efficiency and the development of trading and post trading. The New-York based MSCI Emerging Markets Index allocates classifications according to factors like economic development and bourse trading volumes. In its 2013 Annual Market Classification Review release, the MSCI praised the improvements made in trading mechanisms in the State of Qatar, as well as the \"progress made to date and the further commitment of the Qatari authorities to increase the foreign ownership limit\" on shares in Qatari companies. Doha Securities Market was founded in 1995, and commenced work in May, 1997. The market entered a new stage after signing the strategic partnership with NYCE EuroNext in June 2009 converting Doha Securities Market to an incorporation under the new name \"Qatar Exchange\". Currently, Qatar Exchange has 42 listed companies.