Banks operating in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) saw rapid growth in 2013, said The Peninsula. The size of the QFC banking sector grew by 53.5 percent to $7.4bn at the end of 2013, according to Qatar Central Bank (QCB). Banks operating in QFC comprise 28 international, regional and domestic firms which are licensed as either branches or limited liability companies.
Most of the medium-to-large QFC firms underwent an increase in their balance sheet throughout the year. Conventional banks represent 72.1 percent ($5.3bn) of the QFC banking system while Shariah-compliant banks comprise the remaining 27.9 percent ($2bn) of the sector. Not unlike the rest of Qatar or the GCC, the QFC banking sector is also concentrated primarily in the largest three banks, which combined represents almost 65 percent of the entire QFC banking sector.
Gross loans and advances extended by QFC banks increased by approximately 58.2 percent to $4.2bn during 2013. The increase in total loans and advances was due to increase in the financial institutions category and the other loans category which is predominantly comprised term loans to corporate entities. Islamic contracts also experienced rapid growth throughout 2013. The majority of funding for QFC 's banking sector was attributable to the deposits category which represents 92.7 percent ($5.3bn) of total liabilities. The deposits categories include short-term interbank debt and long-term credit facilities predominantly associated with the parent entities of branches operating in the QFC.