*Qatar Stock Exchange has been one of the best performing markets across the globe during 2018
*In recent times, there has been inflow of non-resident deposits from the US, European and Asian countries reflecting the confidence of foreign depositors in the Qatari financial system
Qatar has returned to "business as usual" mode in every aspect of its economy, one and a half years since the blockade, said HE the QCB Governor Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani.
“The response of the financial sector to the blockade is praiseworthy. There was no disruption in provisioning of financial services anytime following the blockade,” Sheikh Abdulla said in the context of the 'Euromoney Qatar' conference that will be held in Doha on December 9-10.
He said: “The banking sector has provided seamless financial services to their customers even in the midst of initial disturbances. The deposit outflows from non-resident deposits in the first few months of the blockade were well absorbed by the banking sector through proactive liquidity management with the guidance and support of QCB.
“In recent times, there has been inflow of non-resident deposits from the US, European and Asian countries reflecting the confidence of foreign depositors in the Qatari financial system. The recent reports from the credit ratings agencies indicate that banks have recorded improvements in their rating.”
Sheikh Abdulla said: “The equity market also returned to positive trajectory after its initial fall in prices as an immediate impact of blockade. Proper management by QFMA and confidence in the fundamentals of the Qatari economy have led to steady recovery in the equity market. The Qatar Stock Exchange has been one of the best performing markets across the globe during 2018.
“We did also witness some speculative attack on our currency in offshore markets. Strong communications to market participants about our commitment to the currency peg and our deep reserves were used to ward off speculative and motivated attacks on the currency. After the announcement of our commitment to the Dollar peg, the attack immediately fizzled out and we have full stability in the exchange market.”
Overall, the effective responses from the banks and the financial markets and continued confidence of local and foreign investors were very satisfying and encouraging, Sheikh Abdulla said.
On the lessons learnt from the blockade and the financial sector’s reaction to it, Sheikh Abdulla said: “The blockade was like a real stress test for the economy. The resilience of the Qatari economy and the strong confidence of the investors were realised during the blockade. The blockade necessitated to attain self-reliance in essential food-items and focus on local entrepreneurs. Diversification of trade and finance has come to the fore in response to the blockade and will be sustained in the future. “Banking sector, having learnt important lessons from the economic blockade, has also been improving their funding structure with focus on more stable and long-term sources. Moreover banks have strengthened their contingency plans and capabilities to take care of stressful conditions. On the regulatory side all the three regulators are continuously evaluating and suitably implementing regulatory standards to ensure that the system remains safe, sound and solid.”
The capital inflows to Qatar are more broad-based and are not restricted to the GCC region, he noted.
“Irrespective of all the developments in the GCC, Qatar will continue its efforts for the development of financial market by making it more liquid and encouraging global investors,” Sheikh Abdulla said.
The Euromoney Qatar conference at St. Regis Doha will be held under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Co-hosted by the Qatar Central Bank, the Euromoney Qatar conference’s keynote speakers include HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi, and HE the Qatar Central Bank Governor Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani.
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