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Qatar attracts attention of UAE financial firms


Qatar is the most competitive country in the Middle East and the 11th most competitive economy in the world.

November 25, 2013 4:07 by

Qatar is emerging as a focal point for multinational financial institutions.

The rising profile of the state’s financial sector is drawing particular attention from financial houses, particularly those operating in the UAE, according to banking experts preparing for the Euromoney Qatar Conference, which will take place from December 10 to 11.

In addition to being the most competitive economy in the Mena region, Qatar is also the 11th most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2012 to 2013.

Qatar is expected to post a 6.8 per cent year-on-year real GDP growth in 2014, thanks to large infrastructure projects, population growth and economic diversification, according to a recent report from QNB Group.

The country’s financial vitality is also drawing international and regional attention. Qatar was recently given the ‘emerging market” status by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Morgan Stanley Capital International, which will be effective from next year, increasing its importance for an international investment portfolio.

At the same time, the evolving regulatory environment – coupled with significant changes at governmental and institutional levels – is leading more investors to understand the internal dynamics of the country and they are looking to financial analysts for their predictions regarding the direction of the economy.

In particular, the ongoing discussion around changes to regulations that would limit the exposure of local banks to state-owned GREs (government-related entities) has potentially significant implications for banks in the UAE and future capital market issuance.

Richard Banks, director at Euromoney Qatar Conference, says that thanks to the combination of strong economic growth and a stable financial environment, Qatar has become an important country for institutional investors and debt markets to follow.

“However, the recent changes within the country’s investment strategy and regulatory framework have increased the pressure to get closer to the realities on the ground,” he adds.

The Euromoney Qatar Conference will serve as a major platform for global players to learn more about Qatar’s financial future and speak to a new generation of leaders and decision makers in attendance.

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