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Qatar aims to become Gulf’s financial hub

Qatar Central Bank

Qatar Central Bank

Qatar is bidding to become the Gulf region’s financial hub, introducing a new regulatory framework for financial institutions and other initiatives to facilitate growth in the banking sector.

The MEED Qatar Banking Summit 2013, backed by Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, will gather more than 100 senior decision-makers from leading domestic and international lenders, insurance and financial institutions to discuss the roadmap for achieving its goal of becoming a financial powerhouse in the region.

More importantly, those attending the September summit will for the first time be able to discuss the ramifications of new rules introduced by the Central Bank recently, aimed at regulating the anticipated borrowing spree required to fund Qatar’s massive infrastructure spending requirements.

By putting a cap on banks’ security portfolios to 25 per cent of their capital and reserves, the Central Bank hopes to avoid the mistakes of the global financial crisis, which was largely precipitated by the massive debt exposure of banks.

His Excellency Abdulla Bin Saoud al-Thani, governor, Qatar Central Bank, will deliver the keynote address at the summit in which he will discuss the new regulatory framework for local banks as well as international banks looking to set up offices in Qatar.

This will then be supported by presentations from the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority to give a comprehensive overview of the latest changes and initiatives in key areas of Qatar’s banking, finance and insurance sectors.

“Among these include the development of Qatar’s capital and equity markets to attract global and regional fund managers and investors. The Middle East has long been considered mostly as a source of funds, with some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds; however, the region has recently emerged as a source of deals, and this is where Qatar hopes to create a powerful presence,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, chairman, MEED Events, organisers of the summit, which will take place on 9-11  September at the Renaissance Doha City Centre Hotel.

Experts also foresee Qatar developing infrastructure funds and bonds that could be listed and traded in support of the country’s massive projects outlay as it enters the next phase of its preparations for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

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