The fact that credit to the private sector grew shows the resiliency in the overall economy outside hydrocarbons, even amidst the economic blockade and despite the increasing cost of credit, market sources said. With the market hinting towards hardening US interest rates, there could be a reflection in the Qatari monetary landscape as well due to the fixed exchange parity with the Greenback, they said, adding given the reserves and buffers, Qatar’s interest rate may not exactly reflect the changes in the US benchmark rates.
The credit to the public sector stood at QR377.3bn or more than 40% of the total credit in February 2018. The credit to the public sector witnessed more than 13% growth year-on-year. Of the QR932.56bn total credit, domestic credit was QR842.66bn, or 90% of the total; whereas overseas credit amounted to QR89.9bn or 10%. Within the domestic credit portfolio, the maximum loan off-take was reported by real estate, to which banks had extended QR196.53bn (showing a 11% annual growth), followed by government at QR192.69bn (16%), services at QR174.69bn (4%), consumption at QR124.26bn (2%), trading at QR74.8bn (11%), construction at QR40.24bn (about 1%) and industry at QR29.7bn (33%).
Within the realty sector, the credit off-take was rather evenly spread with QR61.28bn going towards real estate developers, followed by QR50.42bn to others, QR46.39bn to commercial housing, QR27.34bn to private housing and QR11.11bn to land. The second largest component within the commercial banks’ assets is securities portfolio, which stood at QR184.14bn or more than 13% of the total in the review period. The securities portfolio had grown about 21% on a yearly basis. Of the total QR184.14bn securities portfolio, conventional debt amounted to QR115.49bn and sukuk at QR63.47bn, which showed 22% and 23% expansion respectively year-on-year in February 2018.
The claims on banks stood at QR133.64bn this February compared to QR120.88bn in the corresponding period of the previous year. The investments in subsidiaries and associates amounted to QR46.18bn in February 2018 compared to 46.13bn in the same period of previous year. The required reserves stood at QR36.07bn in February this year against QR35.03bn in the review period of 2017.
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times