Commercial Bank remains as a "long-term investor" in Turkey, according to Group CEO Joseph Abraham, who described the Middle East country as “a very important market” for the GCC region.

“Turkey is a strategic and important partner of Qatar, so we see enhanced investment flows of Qatari investments into Turkey and vice versa.

Having a bank on both sides enables us to leverage our business opportunities, so we remain confident about Turkey’s long-term future,” said Abraham during a media roundtable held recently in Commercial Bank’s West Bay headquarters.

During the meeting, Abraham spoke on the bank’s financial highlights in 2019, awards received in the previous period, and transformational changes, particularly in the digital and innovation space.

He was joined by Commercial Bank chief financial officer & executive general manager Rehan Khan and Hussein Ali al-Abdulla, executive general manager and chief marketing officer.

Asked to provide updates on Commercial Bank’s plans to issue ‘kangaroo’ and Formosa bonds, Abraham said, “We’ve been going to the Australian market in the last two years, and we’ll go again for a third year; it usually takes three years before you can issue into the Australian market, and so with the Taiwanese market.

“We’ve been developing and building investor confidence and familiarity with our name, and with our financials, and our improving financial performance.

We do look at the markets, which are appropriate, with the best price, and then we issue.

We believe in building a diverse investor base, so we may not issue Formosa this year but we may do that in the future.”

With the largest branch network in Qatar, Abraham said Commercial Bank is opening new branches in the Doha Metro stations.

“Commercial Bank believes that as more and more people use the metro because of its convenience, people will do more activities there; it will take time but we are one of the leaders identifying these trends.

“We’re also launching new branch designs for a more modern look.

We will continue to have a strong branch network and we will locate them where there are new population centres where they are most appropriate and useful for our clients,” he said.

On the recently-announced CB Wallet, Qatar’s first mobile contactless payment wallet, as well as new digital services from Commercial Bank, Abraham said: “Qatar is committed to lead in terms of technology, so we are introducing new initiatives to build customer familiarity with many of these new elements, and also to ensure our customers to get the leading client experience.”

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