Qatar National Bank (QNB) anticipated that the increasing and unprecedented levels of debt may lead to significant and long-term risks that may limit the growth of the global economy during the coming period due to financial restrictions imposed on companies, and potential vulnerabilities in emerging markets.Qatar National Bank (QNB) in its weekly commentary that the Covid-19 pandemic represented a negative shock of unprecedented magnitude to the global economy, causing the sharpest contraction in activity ever recorded in quarterly national accounts. In response, extraordinary monetary and fiscal policies were put in place to provide support to households and firms, to preserve the economies from a deeper potential collapse. Low interest rates and quantitative easing from central banks, combined with expansionary fiscal policy, fueled unprecedented credit growth. This resulted in skyrocketing public and private debt across the world, adding to the trend that had begun with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Since then, government debt has more than doubled to reach USD 85.7 trillion, while total global debt stands at USD 304.9 trillion.Debt levels are not only high by historical standards, they are also expected to continue to rise broadly around the world. In the context of high and rising interest rates, debt becomes even more relevant as a potential drag to GDP growth. In QNB's view, to understand the overall debt dynamics and the risks they pose for long-run growth, it is important to break down the origin of debt increases, as well as to differentiate between advanced economies (AE) and emerging markets (EM). First, rising debt levels in AE are mostly accounted for by the deterioration of public sector accounts and the need to fund ever growing deficits. In 2023, total government debt in AE reached USD 59.7 trillion, an increase of 60% relative to the USD 37.4 trillion after the GFC, equivalent to 113.6% of global GDP.High government debt levels in AE are set to harm growth by diverting resources away from investment. As governments increase their borrowing, the issues of new debt compete with the private sector for a given amount of savings available. As a result, real interest rates increase, which can "crowd out" private investment, and therefore limit economic growth.Second, elevated corporate ineptness combined with higher interest rates can create a "debt overhang" problem that hinders investment by firms. The Covid-19 pandemic generated a massive disruption in economic activity that impacted sales and profits of firms around the world. In order to keep firms operational and contain the destruction of jobs, governments implemented injections of liquidity through loan guarantees as well as new lines of credit. Although, total debt in nonfinancial corporations as share of GDP has declined from its peaks during 2020 in both AE and EM, they are still above their pre-pandemic levels. Now, in a scenario with higher interest rates and tighter credit standards, this can result in a "debt overhang" in firms, where they will find it harder to obtain funding for new investments. Third, an assessment of debt dynamics in EM requires a further differentiation between China and other EM. In the period from Q1-2010 to Q1-2023, China accounted for 65% of the growth in government debt, and 76% of growth in nonfinancial private debt in EM. In China, debt had a very particular form, as the country benefited from abundant domestic savings, the debt was mostly financed by residents in local currency. This prevents the country from suffering the standard balance of payment pressures that affect other EM during periods of economic stress. Hence, China is better positioned to engineer a deleveraging process in the future.In contrast, debt in other EM tends to have a funding profile with more significant participation of external funding, or in hard currencies from advanced economies, making them vulnerable to external shocks and "sudden-stops" in capital inflows. Such vulnerability could be even more pronounced in the current scenario, where tighter monetary policy in major advanced economies pulls capital away from riskier EM. In the past, debt crisis in EM were triggered by sharp increases in international interest rates. High levels of debt now leave the more risky EM exposed to financial distress that can make refinancing difficult, and result in a crisis that resembles previous experiences.All in all, unprecedented and rising debt levels pose significant risks to the global economy going forward, through the diversion of funds from productive investments, financial constraints in the corporate sector, and potential vulnerabilities in EM. (QNA)
Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana said he had let his teammates down after a howler set the tone for a 4-3 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. A third consecutive defeat ramps up the pressure on United manager Erik ten Hag and two late goals from Casemiro masked the gulf in class between the sides at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.However, United had started brightly until Leroy Sane’s strike slipped through Onana’s grasp on 28 minutes. “After my mistake we lost control of the game. It’s a difficult situation for us, for me especially because I’m the one who let the team down,” Onana said. The Cameroonian starred for Inter Milan on their run to last season’s Champions League final, but has struggled in the early weeks of his United career since joining in a £47mn.The Red Devils have now conceded three or more goals in three consecutive games for the first time since 1978. “My start in Manchester is not so good, it’s not how I want (to play),” added Onana. “Today is one of my worst games and it is difficult because we have big ambition, we want to win everything – it was a big opportunity for us to bounce back after the situation we are facing. It’s a tough time. We have to be together and learn from our mistakes because it’s the only thing to do.”United have now lost four of their opening six games of the season for the first time in 37 years. Ten Hag earned plenty of plaudits for his first season in charge as he led United back into the Champions League and ended a six-year trophy drought by lifting the League Cup. But his side’s downward curve dates back to the latter part of last season. Since a historic 7-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool in March, United have lost eight of their last 12 games away from home in all competitions. Ten Hag called for character from his side to bounce back from being outplayed on home soil by Brighton 3-1 at the weekend.Instead, the former Ajax boss will be concerned at how quickly his side crumbled after Onana’s blunder and twice conceded within seconds of getting back into the game. Serge Gnabry quickly doubled Bayern’s advantage after Jamal Musiala burst through the United defence with ease.Rasmus Hojlund’s first goal for the club was the big positive of the night for Ten Hag’s men. But Harry Kane had restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion within five minutes from the penalty spot after Cristian Eriksen was harshly penalised for handball.Bayern should have then ran up a far more convincing scoreline as they twice hit the woodwork and eased up by bringing off Kane, Sane, Gnabry and Musiala. Casemiro’s first goal could have provoked a nervy finale had Mathys Tel not been given space to crash in Bayern’s fourth within three minutes. The Brazilian then headed in his second with virtually the last action of the match.
The shores of the Old Doha Port witnessed a spectacular display of aerial acrobatics on the water as the first-ever Jetski Jumping Competition in Qatar kicked off Friday.During the first of the two-day exhilarating event, the participants – aged between 18 and 25 – enthralled spectators with their stunning performance in gravity-defying stunts. The competition concludes Saturday. The timing is from 3pm to 6pm.“It is very important for us to boost the water activities and encourage people to engage in these kinds of competitions since we do not have this kind of privilege everywhere," an organiser told Gulf Times.She noted that the event was divided into two categories: RXP and Spark, each featuring 10 expert participants. A pair of specially designed jet boats generate the waves, propelling the jetski daredevils to new heights.She added that the scoring for the competition is based on a number of key elements: style, height of jumps, hand gestures (one or two-handed), mid-air spins (including 360-degree rotations), and precision criteria determined by a panel of expert judges.“This event holds immense significance for Qatar, especially for our thriving tourism sector,” she said. “Doha Port enjoys year-round access to the sea, a precious resource for us. This competition not only amplifies water activities but also indicates more competitions and visitors to our shores.”She said enthusiasm for water sports is gaining traction in Qatar, and the nation is gearing up for the upcoming aquathlon in three weeks, combining swimming and running events at the Old Doha Port.Organisers have ambitious plans to elevate the Jetski Jumping Competition onto the international stage. “This year is a local affair, but if successful, we plan to make it a seasonal fixture. We want to throw open the registration to participants from across the Gulf and beyond, thus drawing in more visitors and propelling Qatar onto the global water sports map,” she said.“We have six, seven months cruise season so it’s a plus also for us because lots of tourists are also coming and they start here at the terminal and then they explore the Mina District before going around Doha,” she said.The competition’s limited capacity, due to the hot weather and time constraints, saw only 20 participants selected for the inaugural event. However, organisers expressed optimism that during the cold season, larger-scale competitions with greater participation can be held, further driving Qatar's prominence in the water sports arena.As the event season kicks into high gear, she said Qatar is poised to welcome crowds to the fully operational venue, offering an array of dining options and water-based activities, complementing the thriving cruise season that covers nearly half the year.The Old Doha Port is poised to become a hub for maritime enthusiasts and tourists, ensuring that Qatar's waterfronts remain vibrant and dynamic, she added.
With a commitment to further enhance the West Bay waterfront experience for visitors and residents, Qatar Tourism (QT) has renewed the operating licenses for Doha Sands, B12 and West Bay Beach, three prominent beachfront destinations situated in the heart of the city.Discover Qatar has been granted the operating license for Doha Sands and B12 for two years, while LoftA has also extended its partnership with QT to manage the West Bay Beach (WBB).These initiatives are part of QT’s continuous efforts to provide family-friendly beach experiences, complete with an array of activities, sports classes, and food and beverage options along the West Bay waterfront.In a press statement, Aysha al-Mulla, head of Tourism Investment Policy at QT, said: “With a host of amenities across the beaches including a volleyball court, water sports, all-day food and beverage options and playgrounds, the West Bay beaches have become some of the city’s most sought-after destinations for families and tourists.“We are delighted to extend the operating licenses for these establishments to ensure we continue to build on Qatar's tourism offering. Qatar has a beautiful and extensive coastline and bringing the beach experience into the heart of the city, at a convenient and easily accessible location, strengthens Doha’s position as a family-friendly holiday choice.”QT’s extensive West Bay Beach project, which covers 40,000 sqm of premium beachfront, includes Doha Sands, B12 and WBB, each of which offers a distinctly different experience. With Qatar set to be the Middle East’s fastest-growing destination by 2030, QT continues to collaborate with its valued partners to build experiences and attractions across the country.
The Arab and international media followed with great interest the speech delivered by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the opening session of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78), held Tuesday in New York City, USA, as large portion of their news coverage were devoted to it.The media also highlighted the Arab and international issues included in the speech, focusing on HHs statement that the State of Qatar continues to adhere to the principled position on the justice of the Palestinian issue, which has become a test of the credibility of the worlds politicians towards the Middle East.Under the title: Qatar's Amir Vows to Continue Efforts to Promote Peace, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) referred to HH the Amirs reaffirmation of "the importance of resolving disputes with peaceful means," declaring his country's commitment to continuing efforts to facilitating and making peace.KUNA added that HH the Amir said that this matter constitutes a "firm commitment deeply rooted in the core of our foreign policy," explaining that "responsibility also prompts the State to strengthen its role in providing humanitarian aid, exerting mediation efforts and resolving conflicts that affect our region."KUNA explained that HH the Amir affirmed that Qatar "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause, which has become a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that "Qatar provides political, humanitarian and developmental support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes to the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported that HH the Amir said that the Palestinian cause became "a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that Qatar, "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause," and "provides political, humanitarian and development support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes towards rebuilding the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Algeria Press Service also noted HH the Amir's statements on the Palestinian issue and how it is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution, pointing out that the "the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion until the occupation has brazenly taken the form of an apartheid regime in the broad daylight."Turkiye's Anadolu Agency noted HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's call to support the Palestinian people to find a just political solution in addition to stopping the fighting in Sudan that has been raging for five months.The Agency also highlighted HH the Amir's response to the incidents of burning copies of the Holy Qur'an in a number of European countries, where he said "I would say to my Muslim brethren that it is implausible for us to get distracted by an idiot or a biased person whenever it occurs to him to provoke us by burning the Holy Qur'an or by other forms of triviality. The Qur'an is too Holy to be desecrated by a witless person," adding that "I would say to all those who seek to justify these hideous acts as freedom of expression: compromising the sanctity of others deliberately should not be seen as an example of the freedom of expression."In a related context, many visual media outlets followed the speech of HH the Amir at the UNGA.A report by Oman TV, which was covering the speeches delivered by world leaders at the UNGA, stated that the speech of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani included a call of solidarity and efforts for a safer and more stable world, pointing out to HH the Amir's speech where he said, "if we truthfully constitute an international community, and not a merely diverse entities, it must be our duty to strive towards ending the injustice afflicting them, at least in accordance with what is required by the resolutions of this body, and entailed by international law. It is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution in accordance with the principles of international legitimacy by successive Israeli governments. You have to bear in mind that the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion."The Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV quoted in its news bulletin an excerpt from HH the Amir's speech, noting that the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed in his speech the necessity of finding a sustainable solution to the political vacuum in Lebanon and introducing mechanisms to prevent it from recurring.HH the Amir's speech received the attention of Turkish channel TRT Arabic, which stated in its report that the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani pointed that the peoples on earth are living in two different eras due to the contradiction between scientific and technological development and the spread of famines and wars that have exacerbated the migration crisis.The report, which appeared in the news bulletin, quoted part of HH the Amir's speech in which he said,"in areas such as genetics and artificial intelligence, the possibilities for realizing the well-being of all humanity are increasing. But the gap between possibility and reality is also widening. However, as these possibilities are unfolding in the same era, there are peoples who are grappling with child labor, starvation, unemployment, and civil wars, while developed countries guard their borders against the influx of refugees fleeing this suffering." (QNA)
QTerminals, a terminal operating company jointly established by Mwani Qatar and Milaha, has officially completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Kramer Holding, a provider of integrated logistics and container services located in the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.This was announced by QTerminals in its social medial platform X.The acquisition represents an important milestone in the expansion of QTerminals, as the Port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and is a significant addition to QTerminals group’s diversification.It further reinforces the QTerminals Group’s commitment to contributing towards the Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims for the diversification of the national economy and foreign investments."Kramer Group is an important strategic step for QTerminals as we will expand our presence into Europe’s largest port. Kramer Group complements QTerminals and adds existing business, a robust value-creating service offering and European network to QTerminals portfolio," QTerminals Group CEO Neville Bissett had said earlier.QTerminals will retain Kramer’s key management personnel and employees, including Andre Kramer, who will continue as the chief executive officer.Kramer Group has both core and strategic importance to the Port of Rotterdam, as it supplements the port’s activities whilst having direct access to the deep-sea terminals of the Port of Rotterdam.The Kramer Group is an integrated container handling and storage, terminal, container development and logistics services provider, located in the Port of Rotterdam, and is the only independent terminal in the Maasvlakte area, and one of the few multi-user depot terminals in the port.The acquisition of the Kramer Group by QTerminals allows its entry and presence in the largest port in Europe which makes QTerminals Group’s position stronger in relation to future opportunities in Europe and other developed global markets.The presence of QTerminals in the Port of Rotterdam is strategic and reputable for QTerminals Group in particular and for Qatar in general as QTerminals' profile will become known in the largest European port.By acquiring Kramer Group, QTerminals will continue to develop its world leading technical and operational know-how to enhance and optimize its potential as one of the leading providers of integrated container logistics services in Europe.