Qatar infrastructure spending creates opportunities for many international firms…

In spite of growing storm clouds over the global economy, Qatar is set to push through the billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure investment in the coming years, according to senior economists and banking leaders.

The nation is set to spend as much as $205bn on infrastructure by the end of 2018, prioritising sectors such as housing, transport infrastructure, power, water, and sewage facilities. The economic opportunities generated by this investment boom for local, regional, and international banks will be under scrutiny at the upcoming Euromoney Qatar Conference set to run in Doha from November 24-25, 2014.

In a special session at the event entitled “Understanding the Next Phase of the Qatari Economic Story,” senior banking figures from Qatar and international finance experts will look at Qatar’s requirements for the coming years and ask how the nation will continue to fund its ambitious growth programme. While government spending has provided the foundation for infrastructure investment in recent years, there are growing opportunities for regional and international lenders to play a role in funding, particularly through Shariah-compliant financing mechanisms.

The event will examine some of Qatar’s largest infrastructure initiatives such as the $45bn Qatar Rail project, Doha Metro, and NDIA campus projects, and examine how new sources of finance might be tapped to support these. In addition, the panel will examine the changing institutional and regulatory climate in Qatar and ask how this evolving environment will impact international players.

With support from major sponsors including supporting body Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) and senior lead sponsor QNB, the event is set to provide an important insight for finance leaders looking to understand the future development path of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

For local and regional banking executives, it will provide an important opportunity to network with globally-recognised banking giants.

Euromoney Conferences regional director Richard Banks said: “The Euromoney Qatar Conference 2014 has grown in size because of the calibre of the speakers and also because of the intense interest in Qatar as a dynamic investment hub.”  He added: “Given the significant changes that Qatar has witnessed in recent months, combined with the rising international attention it has received, we believe this year’s event has the potential to be the most interesting to date.”

The conference will be addressed by HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi and HE the governor of Qatar Central Bank Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani. “Global finance: re-launched” is being co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank. Other sponsors include co-sponsor Jersey Finance, associate sponsors Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar First Bank, and exhibitors include Qatar Finance and Business Academy and Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

Aamal sets up optical supplies
joint venture

Aamal Company has established a joint venture Aamal Optical Supplies (AOS) with an initial capital of QR1mn to cash in on the fast-growing optical sector.

AOS will be involved in the import, manufacture and distribution of prescription lenses; import and distribution of contact lenses and other eye care products and services; and the opening of a specialised optical medical centre in the near future, a company spokesman said in a communiqué to the Qatar Stock Exchange.

It is a new business stream for Aamal Company, which will own 51% of the partnership, allowing AOS to further diversify operations and revenue channels and to capitalise on opportunities in the fast-growing optical sector. The new company is the most recent example of Aamal’s commitment to offering the highest quality products and services, ensuring that the company maintains leading positions in its chosen business lines, according to the spokesman.

The new company has no debt funding and the capital of QR1mn was contributed in cash by both the parties to the partnership agreement. The establishment of Aamal Optical Supplies has no effect on the financial position of Aamal Company, the spokesman said, without divulging details the other shareholder. Source: Gulf Times