QCB foreign exchange reserves scale up to $49.4bn in January: QNB
March 28 2019 08:24 PM

The Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) foreign exchange reserves scaled up to $49.4bn in January from $49.3bn in December last year, a new report by QNB has shown.

This equates to 8.9 months of import cover, QNB said in its "Qatar Monthly Monitor."

Qatar’s banks saw their assets and credit growing in February, at 2.2% and 3.6% year-on-year respectively, QNB said.

However, local banks’ deposit growth was negative at -0.3% year-on-year in February.

Private sector, public sector and non-resident deposits increased 0.6%, 3.1% and 5.5% month-on-month respectively in February, the report showed.

Broad money supply (M2) declined 6.1% year-on-year in January, while interbank rates remained stable as of March 27.

Qatar's sovereign five-year credit default swap spreads (CDS spreads) remained stable at around 75 bps, QIBOR three-month interest rates remained stable while Libor three-month interest rates stabilised (as of March 27) after declining in recent months.

In terms of Qatar's fiscal and external balances, the report said the trade balance “remained healthy” at $3.8bn in February.

The fiscal account remained in surplus at 1% of GDP in the third quarter while the current account surplus widened further.

According to QNB, Brent crude prices rose to average $64.4 a barrel in February.

In February, Qatar’s headline CPI inflation slipped, it said.

In the third quarter of last year, Qatar’s real GDP growth accelerated on the back of a stabilisation in the hydrocarbon output.

The construction as well as finance and real estate sectors led the way for a 4.3% growth in non-hydrocarbon GDP over the third quarter of 2018.

Industrial production rose 0.6% in January.

Qatar’s population increased 2.7% year-on-year to stand at 2.77mn in February; women made up 25.7% of the population, the report showed.

The 5-star and 4-star hotel occupancy rates rose to 61% and 66% respectively in January, QNB said.

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