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Interview: Phillip Thorpe

Interview: Phillip Thorpe

The head of the Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority discusses the challenges faced by the global financial services industry.

May 7, 2010 9:48 by

What is Qatar doing in this direction?

In Qatar, it’s a little bit quieter. We have been very fortunate to be at some distance from the issues in terms of the economic crisis. The banks have had some concerns about the quality of their lending book but they had not been involved in talks of assets, they’ve not really seen the subprime – those are not big issues. They have generally been well capitalized and more conservatively run. The government is undertaking a number of interventions to strengthen the local industry, and that has helped in terms of liquidity. Most important of all, we’re sitting in an economy that is growing at a great rate and which is robust and will grow even more in 2010 and 2011. That’s a very good place to be. We know the cash flow is good and we support a continued expansion in most sectors.

But what happened in Dubai will definitely affect Qatar also.

It’s impacted perceptions about the region broadly. It’s quite annoying because people aren’t actually making a thorough examination of the different states. If you’re in Dubai, that’s one thing, but what happens in Abu Dhabi isn’t the same. What happens in Doha is not the same, but we all receive a little bit of the influenza from the infection in Dubai and that is unfortunate. That said, in Qatar, we saw the government go out with a bond issue very successfully, it was well received by the market, always subscribed, well priced. We see continuing interest in investment into Qatar.

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