Has Qatar “positive” medium-term economic prospects ..?

Qatar’s “positive” medium-term economic prospects and huge project spending augur well for the insurance and reinsurance industry, the county’s financial regulator has said.

“Economic prospects in Qatar are still positive in the medium term,” Qatar Central Bank (QCB) Governor and chairman of Qatar Financial Market Authority HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani told the MultaQa conference in Doha yesterday.

He said overall there has been positive economic momentum and particularly in the non-oil segment.

In a recent Article IV consultation report, the International Monetary Fund said Qatar’s inflation-adjusted growth could stay around 6% this year and that the non-oil sector could outperform the hydrocarbons.

Sheikh Abdullah, who is also the chairman of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA), said insurance and reinsurance were important partners as Qatar has already embarked on mammoth infrastructure development projects ahead of its preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

According to various reports, more than $150bn is being planned to invest in order to upgrade the infrastructure in the country, which has already taken steps to strengthen privatisation.

“This economic development will have a positive impact on (Qatar’s) insurance industry as it would increase the level of premiums and open newer opportunities,” Sheikh Abdullah said, adding proper risk management is a key to addressing and limiting the risks associated with insurance.

Taking a cue from the four-pillared Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, which is a roadmap for the country’s sustainable development; he said both the QCB and the QFCRA have put in place required regulatory framework to support economic development and achieve financial stability.

“We are committed to the QNV 2030 to reinforce sustainable growth to create a knowledge-based economy,” he said.

The QNV 2030 has four pillars: human, social, economic and environmental development. In line with the 2030 vision, the country has embarked on privatisation initiatives, Sheikh Abdullah said, citing the listing of Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company – a holding entity of Q-Chem I, Q-Chem II and Qatar Vinyl Company (MPHC) – on the Qatar Exchange.

In this regard, he said through this process, the government aims to redistribute wealth among its citizens and encourage long-term savings and investments as well as to deepen the capital markets.

MPHC, a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum, had recently come out with its QR3.23bn initial public offer, as part of a series of maiden offers planned by government for the next 10 years. Gulf Times

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