Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH), which is the second largest investor in Middle East and North Africa (Mena) in fintech, has incubated more than 60 entities with valuation in excess of $400mn, according to the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), which is the founder of QFTH.
The QDB is now contemplating to launch green financing products for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), its chief executive officer Abdulrahman bin Hisham al-Sowaidi told the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Innovation Forum, which was held yesterday in association with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and the Qatar Central Bank (QCB).
Addressing one of the panel discussions ‘The future of Fintech and its role in the wider ESG ecosystem,’ he said even before the start of (Qatar) fintech hub or QFTH, the development institution had helped start a lot of verticals from innovation aspects starting from manufacturing, to sport clusters.
Highlighting that through QFTH, it has combined the initiatives of QDB, QFC and QCB; he said it was basically to foster the innovation and it has so far received more than 2,300 applications from more than 70 countries.
“We have incubated more than 60 companies across waves,” he said, adding the valuation of these entities has reached more than $400mn.
Terming that the country’s fintech strategy has demonstrated the success; al-Sowaidi said QFTH has now been recognised within the global fintech industry.
Quoting a report from MAGNiTT, a startups research and intelligence firm, he said QFTH was ranked as the second top investor in fintechs across the Mena region in the first quarter of 2021.
Recently Masraf Al Rayan developed a Green deposit in association with QDB. The green deposit is a unique alternative investment solution that allows riyal deposits and other major currencies to be deployed for funding green initiatives.
“Just down the road, we can announce, hopefully after getting the approvals, the first green financing product for the SMEs,” he said, without disclosing further details.
Highlighting that a lot of environmental friendly products from advisory aspects will also be provided to SMEs; he said “we are not only targeting Green-field projects but also Brown-field projects to help them transform into green element.”
Earlier in a special address, QFC Authority chief executive officer Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said the outlook of Islamic finance points to strong future growth.
“If performed exceedingly well in the last decade. Today, global Islamic finance industry worth is over $2tn and projected to grow to $5bn by 2025,” he said.
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