The strength of Qatar’s economy and the robustness of its banking sector were proved beyond doubt yet again with normal business activities being resumed within 24 hours of the blockade on the country imposed by its neighbours, said Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Shaibei, QIIB chief executive officer.
“In Qatar, we have a contingency plan for the worst case scenario. We immediately activated the contingency plan following the blockade. This way, we could effectively manage the situation and ensure sufficient liquidity in our banking system,” pointed out al-Shaibei.
He stressed that Qatari banks are “very well capitalised”.
“Liquidity is not an issue for us. Sufficient cash is available in the system and our customers could transfer money in any currency anywhere, right from the second day of the blockade. There is no basis for concerns that major currencies including the dollar are in short supply. It is not,” al-Shaibei noted.
He said Qatari banks were among the few that could meet the international requirements in terms of liquidity as well as the Basel III regulatory framework on capital adequacy, stress test and market liquidity risk.
“Also, the Qatar Central Bank has been very supportive, although we actually do not need any special support from the QCB now,” al-Shaibei said.
He said Qatar’s government is committed to completing all its projects in time. This includes projects related to infrastructure.
The Qatar National Vision 2030 has been laid out by the government to ensure prosperity and sustainable growth for people of this country.
“Getting raw material is no longer a major challenge…we have a great airport…port, and so we can always source material from new markets. In the last few days, we have seen that the new markets have provided us competitive prices as well.”
The QIIB CEO said Qatar’s fundamentals remained “as strong as ever.”
“Nothing has changed fundamentally in our country. We are still exporting our prime commodities – oil and gas – to all corners of the globe. The whole world is our market. Our market is not confined to the GCC region. The only change now is that we have to get into a new sea route to move our commodities. That’s all.”
Asked whether Qatari banks with cross-border business, especially in the GCC countries that have imposed road, sea and air blockade on Qatar, would be impacted, al-Shaibei said, “Their business in these countries is relatively small in comparison to their operations in Qatar or elsewhere in the world.”
On concerns of riyal depreciation in view of the ongoing regional situation, al-Shaibei said, “Our currency has been pegged to the dollar. So the official rate remains the same. The reported drop in value in the international spot and forward markets is all because of speculators.”
Al-Shaibei was all praise for expatriates in the country and said, “They have shown their love for Qatar, expressing solidarity with the people of this country at this crucial juncture.”
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