Wednesday 17, May 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Regulatory realignment will encourage fiscal discipline and diversification in GCC

Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing event on “Regulatory Changes and Opportunities” on 15 May 2017 at Four Seasons Hotel, Doha, Qatar.

The Guest of the Honour in the evening was HE Nassir Abdul-Aziz Al-Nasser, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. Ali Ibrahim Abdullah Al- Malki, Member of BOD of Doha Bank had also graced the occasion. The speakers at the event include Dr. Ehab Elsonbaty, Senior Legal Counsel, Head of Governance and Government Affairs, Qatar Investment Authority, Sultan Al-Kuwari, Capability Development Manager, Qatar Development Bank, (QDB), Prue Morris, Managing Director, Policy and Enforcement, QFCRA and Craig A Richardson, Partner, Head of Tax, KPMG Qatar and Bahrain.

HE Nassir Abdul – Aziz Al Nasser stated Qatar economy has improved its connectivity with Global economy. He had just arrived from China and was impressed by Chinese Silk Road initiative which also brings people between various countries to work together and contribute to globalisation.

 “According to IMF April 2017, global growth is at 3.5 per cent in 2017 and advanced economies are expected to grow at two per cent in 2017. The US economy is expected to grow at 2.3 per cent and the European economy at 1.7 per cent. The GCC economies’ GDP at current prices will exceed $1.5 trillion in 2017 and the current account surplus as a percentage of GDP will be at two per cent. Emerging and developing economies are at 4.5 per cent in 2017. After the global financial crisis regional regulators have also brought reforms. Qatar Central Bank (QCB) proactively assessed the various exposures of all the Qatari banks under different stress scenarios. The Basel 3 implementation continues in the region with capital and liquidity rules getting redefined. The new US leadership is considering options such as the roll back of Dodd-Frank regulations, and even reinstating some form of Glass-Steagall Act,” said Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank. “On the local front on public private partnerships are expected in Qatar this year. The upcoming law is expected to attract private investments, know-how and technology into key areas of the economy, especially the services sector, such as transportation, health, education and others. VAT will contribute to the fiscal revenues in the region. In Saudi Arabia excise taxes on soft drinks is expected to be introduced in 2017. The fiscal situation is expected to improve across the GCC following sustained reforms in the form of spending cuts and subsidy reforms, aided by reviving oil prices. QDB continues to support the SME sector with various initiatives, the recent one being ithmar for entrepreneurs. Qatar Financial Centre has strengthened the bilateral, economic, and commercial cooperation between Asia and Qatar. It is also exploring opportunities for firms to expand in the Middle East through the QFC platform. New regulations are also underway in Qatar for development of economic zones. ”


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