Qatar Central Bank QCB governor, HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani has said that Qatar's Gross Domestic Product GDP increased by 18% at current prices in the first half of this year as compared with the corresponding period last year to QRs 349 billion, while the annual rate of inflation remained at less than 3% through Oct.
Opening the Euro Money conference on Tuesday , he said Qatar's current account in the first half recorded a QRs 71 billion surplus, or more than 20% of GDP, whereas real GDP grew 14% , as compared with less than 2% in developed countries and 4% for the world economy.
Qatari banks assets, through Oct rose to QRs 800 billion, showing an annual increase of 22%, bank deposits through Oct grew 21% annually to QRs 348 billion, credit facilities and financing grew 26% in the same period to QRs 485 billion including QRs 454 local credit.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani said that the decision taken by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to issue the new law of Qatar Central Bank gave new powers to the bank as a regulatory and supervisory body over all financial services and activities and over insurance companies.
The law also decreed the setting up of a commission on financial stability, supervision and management to head off any potential risks in the financial sector, he added.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani said Qatar has adopted a path of economic reform over the past years based on the country's National Vision 2030, proved direct and indirect support for the banking sector since the beginning of the world financial crisis and has intensified efforts to protect and organize the banking and financial system and to issue suitable legislations.
He recalled that QCB lowered interest rates in line with international rates, especially the prime federal rate on the US dollar and has issued local Sokouks and treasury bonds in Qatari riyals to absorb liquidity in the banking sector and to curtail inflation.
Qatar stepped up transparency tools in businesses and lent more emphasis on the private sector's participation in economic development, issued legislations to create a competitive business environment and encouraged flow of foreign investment, he said.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani thanked Euromoney for organizing the conference in Doha expressing the hope the conference will help find solutions for problems of the banking industry.