Central Bank (QCB) Governor H E Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al-Thani said Qatar
has financial surpluses, be it the central bank's reserves or the sovereign
fund, are more than sufficient to live with the siege indefinitely, revealing
the stability of the liquidity position in the end of 2017, and its improvement
in 2018 as energy prices increased gradually.
highlighted the strength and flexibility of the Qatari economy. The adequacy of
the State's international reserves, in general and that of the central bank in
particular, is the surest guarantee of the stability of the exchange rate of
the Qatari riyal against the US dollar, which reflects the strength of the
riyal and the robustness of the reserves supporting it, the Governor said.
added that the current account surpluses in the State's payments' balance
supports this reserves, pointing out that the volume of the international
reserves at QCB is good and consistent with the international ratios. In
addition, the size of the foreign currency reserve at the bank is excellent and
covers the market needs, he added.
Governor said investigations related to the siege countries' attempts to
manipulate with the national currency and sovereign bonds are continuing,
explaining that the investigations are being handled in cooperation with the
Public Prosecution and the competent security services where the results will
be disclosed as soon as the investigation concludes.
added that QCB took all the required measures and procedures to defend the
national currency and to face the siege through close monitoring of the developments
of the crisis, preparing for it by all means available, and addressing the
rumors that harmed the economy, especially the financial sector.
Governor said the QCB permanently establish an "emergency committee"
to follow up on the work procedures in banks, to ensure their commitment to
global standards and to ensure the implementation of the central banks
guidelines related to capital adequacy and liquidity.
added that QCB takes many measures in this direction including holding
periodical meetings with CEOs of banks in the country, supervising daily
liquidity levels and cash transfers in the banking system, performing stress
tests assuming worst-case scenarios, observing closely movement of foreign
currency deposits and transactions and setting emergency plans to face any
Governor added that the total assets of 18 banks operating under the
supervision of QCB, including seven branches of foreign banks amounted to
nearly QR 1373.9 billion at the end of 2017 as opposed to nearly QR 1271.7
billion at the end of 2016, an increase of nearly QR 102.2 billion and 8
also revealed that property rights of these banks reached about QR 151.8
billion at the end of 2017 compared to about QR 140.4 billion at the end of
2016, an increase of QR 11.4 billion and 8.1 percent. In addition, profits
achieved at the end of 2017 were nearly QR 19.7 billion compared to about QR
19.0 billion at the end of 2016, an increase of about QR 700 million and 3.7
Governor said the total volume of issuance (treasury bills, bonds and sukuk)
issued by QCB last year was QR 47.5 billion, of which QR 13.55 billion were
treasury bills, while the rest were bonds and sukuk (QR 18.475 billion bonds
and QR 15.425 billion sukuk). He expected that the issuance of bonds and sukuk
will continue during the current year through a quarterly program and treasury
bills will continue to be issued on a monthly basis.
regard to the commitment of the financial institutions in the country to the
principles of governance, in particular those relating to combating
money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Governor stressed
that the QCB, out of its interest in governance, issued the first edition of
corporate governance for banks in 2008.
bank improved and updated the instructions more than once, most recently
issuing comprehensive instructions in July 2015 that are consistent with the
latest international practices in this field, such as the OECD and Basel Rules
for Banking Supervision and others, he said.
said that these instructions include a special section for Islamic banks, and
the QCB is verifying banks' commitment to these instructions through continuous
monitoring and inspection of banks and financial institutions that comply in
general with the bank's instructions.
stressed that Qatari banks were among the first banks in the region to
implement the requirements of Basel II and Basel III in response to QCB's
instructions issued as soon as international standards were released taking into
consideration the local environment when issuing the implementation
instructions. The current status and the banks' compliance with the
aforementioned requirements indicate that they are ready for the implementation
of Basel IV, but the final decision will be after the issuance of the standard
in its final form and after adequate study as there are procedures for the QCB
to deal with international standards, he said.
Governor said that insurance companies are one of the most important pillars of
the financial sector, pointing out that there are 12 companies operating to
meet the insurance needs, including five national companies listed on the Qatar
added that the insurance sector has seen a remarkable growth during the last
decade, and that growth accelerated in the past five years. The premiums of the
insurance companies operating in the country and supervised by the Qatar
Central Bank increased to QR12.6 billion in 2016 compared to QR11.3 billion in
2015, reflecting the growth in insurance activity.
pointed out that all the exchange companies operating in the country have
strong financial position with total assets of QR1.9 billion at the end of
2017, a growth of 27 per cent compared to 2016, adding that there are
opportunities for further growth during 2018 in light of the economic
development of the country.
Abdullah pointed out that the QCB is in direct contact with the money exchange
outlets to identify their daily needs of foreign currencies to meet that, and
it also worked in coordination with the relevant authorities in the State
(Ministry of Interior, General Authority of Customs) to facilitate the
procedures of importing currencies from abroad and to remove any restrictions
or obstacles to the importation of those currencies.