Doha Bank is strengthening operations in its rep office in Japan to bring in more financial institutions from there to invest in Qatar’s capital market, especially through its exchange traded fund (QETF), as the two countries will celebrate the golden anniversary of bilateral relations next year.
Addressing a webinar on ‘Bilateral and Synergistic Opportunities between Qatar and Japan’, Doha Bank chief executive Dr R Seetharaman said Japanese investors can get easy access to Doha’s growth through investing in the domestic equity market via its QETF and also financing Qatar mega infrastructure projects and via direct investments.
“We should invite the Japanese banks to use Doha Bank as an ultimate opportunity in this part of the world and we will further strengthen it through our representative office,” he said in the presence of Japanese ambassador Kazuo Sunaga.
When it came to the synergistic relations between the two countries, Seetharaman said there are plenty of reasons to believe that there is a considerable scope for co-operation in the non-hydrocarbons such as the financial space including banking.
Gudni Stiholt Adalsteinsson, Head of Treasury and Investment, Doha Bank said if one looks through the lens of global investment, then Qatar’s capital market represents strong fundamentals and good relative value.
For the fixed income investors, Qatar’s bonds offer “very good” returns, he said, highlighting that in dollar terms it was 2% and in the local currency terms, it was 3.5%.
He said ETFs, which offer lot opportunities for the global investors, have reported returns in excess of 16% since its inception.
Sunaga said Qatar was not only facing challenges but is also creating opportunities with the latest example being 2022 FIFA World Cup. “We have built mutual trust and friendship based on our win-win economic co-operation,” he said, expressing the hope that the future synergistic opportunities between the two countries would be even greater.
Seetharaman said Qatar is the number one trade partner of Japan and liquefied natural gas (LNG) forms major part of this trade.
On the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector, he said opportunities exist in cluster based development and in the SME equity fund to support startups/emerging large corporates. “The bilateral relations between the two countries, which will complete 50 years next year, have reached new heights,” he said, adding Qatar can look for investment opportunities in Japanese equities, infrastructure projects and retail space.
Seetharaman highlighted that Japan economy is expected to contract by 5.8% this year and will recover by 2.4% in 2021.
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