Qatar Reveals Plan To Become Region’s Financial Hub

The tiny Gulf state will take on Abu Dhabi and Dubai as it looks to become the region’s financial powerhouse.

Qatar is bidding to become the Gulf’s financial powerhouse after introducing a new regulatory framework for financial institutions and initiatives to help grow its banking sector.

The announcement will see Qatar go up against Abu Dhabi – which announced plans for its own financial zone recently – in an attempt to dethrone the current incumbent of the region’s financial hub, Dubai.

A banking summit to be held in September, supported by Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, underlines the country’s serious approach.

Over 100 decision makers from domestic and international financial institutions will gather to discuss the roadmap for achieving its goal as well as Qatar Central Bank’s recent introduction of a 25 per cent cap on banks’ security portfolios.

“Among these include the development of Qatar’s capital and equity markets to attract global and regional fund managers and investors,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, chairman at MEED Events, organisers of the summit.

“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.”

The tiny Gulf state, one of the world’s richest countries per capita thanks to its unrivalled liquefied natural gas reserves, has also announced it plans to invest in listed securities in emerging markets through Aventicum Capital Management, a joint venture it established last year with Credit Suisse.