Qatari economy to accelerate growth in 2020: Commercial Bank

The Qatari economy will witness a faster growth in 2020. On the growth rate, the country is seeing a steady trend line of improvement, according to Commercial Bank’s Joseph Abraham.

“Qatar has absorbed the effects of low oil prices, overcame blockade…. the country’s current account balance is at 4 percent and is expected to rise next year. GDP growth rate was 1.6 percent in 2017 and grew by 2 percent in 2018. This year the growth rate is expected to be 2.6 percent before reaching the projected 3.2 percent in 2020. We are seeing a steady trend line of improvement”, the bank’s Group CEO said in a key note interview on the opening day of The Euromoney Qatar Conference yesterday.

Abraham said the major expansion in hydrocarbons sector will further fire up the country’s growth engine. Huge investments in logistics, self sufficiency, core infrastructure and ports would add further momentum.

With a strong capital adequacy ratio, Qatar’s banking sector stays strong. The banks businesses mostly grew this year and the trend will continue. Over coming years, the banks would be increasingly focusing on core areas, in terms of growth. They would be supporting infrastructure development, financing the contractors and sub-contractors of World Cup-related projects and Qatar’s self-sufficiency initiatives, he said.

On the potential of Qatar’s asset management businesses, Abraham said the scope for Qatar banks to act in the Advisor service is set to increase. Qatar has a high net investable population. “As they move away from investing in real estate, they would look at a more balanced portfolio. This would provide more advisory space for banks… More and more IPOs are happening in Qatar. The scope for corporate bond space, both locally and internationally, are also expanding.”

Abraham said that big international banks will continue to be major players by offering diverse range of products. “I think ours (Commercial Bank’s)will be much more catering to the local investors with better knowledge of what appeals to them. We will be able to offer tailor-made portfolio of bonds for local investors. We will work with large international banks on advisory services, but will also develop our own products which would be interesting for local investors.”

Investment professionals, financiers and economists gathered for the Euromoney Qatar Conference yesterday at the St. Regis hotel in Doha to discuss the ever-changing dynamics of the economy. This year’s Euromoney Qatar Conference is focusing on the future of Qatar’s economy and the major milestones expected in 2020.

Panel discussions on the topic of the global geopolitical outlook, and Qatar 2020, provided the audience with an understanding of both the country, regional and global outlook, as well as the major milestones anticipated for Qatar next year. Speakers included: Teck Tan, Senior Portfolio Manager, Nikko Asset Management; Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Research Fellow, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; Mahjoob Zweiri, Director, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University; Alexis Antoniades, Director, Chair of International Economics, Georgetown University – Qatar; Koen Bosma, Managing Director, Rainmaking; Kathrin Lemke, Representative and Director, German Industry and Commerce Office Qatar (AHK); and Khaled Salhab, Assistant General Manager, Domestic Corporate, QNB.

Day two of the Euromoney Qatar Conference will feature a series of thematic panels discussing the future of banking, and the future of investment. The conference visitors can also expect an informative and interactive keynote presentation and Q&A session with Futurist and Author, Brett King.

Source from: The Peninsula