Posted on October 14, 2018

Mr. Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer, took part in a seminar on ‘Views from the C-Suite: Global Outlook,’ held on the sidelines of the 2018 IIF Annual Meeting hosted by Bali, Indonesia, on October 12 -13, in the presence of an influential audience of 500 policymakers, CEOs, market experts, and innovators in the banking, financial and economic sectors.

Several senior industry leaders participated at the seminar, including Mr. Vijay Chandok, Executive Director at ICICI Bank, Mr. Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive at Standard Life Aberdeen plc, Mr. Jean Lemierre, Chairman of the Board, BNP Paribas, and Mr. Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chairman, UBS Group AG, IIF.

The topics discussed during the seminar highlighted a few key issues, including economic and policy outlook and key risks for Asia and the global economy over the next year. Panelists also discussed their implications for financial markets and fund flows, as well as, the outlook for the emerging market economies. The QNB GCEO, Mr. Al Kuwari, said that after more than one year, Qatar now regards the blockade as a ‘new normal’ for the region and is confident that the strong economic performance and resilience seen over the last year will continue. The economy of Qatar has shown resilience since the imposed blockade over a year ago, he said, adding that GDP growth of 1.6% in 2017 is expected to be followed by growth of 2.6% in 2018

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The non-hydrocarbon sector, which is now more than 50% of the economy, is continuing strong growth, Al Kuwari stressed, pointing out that a buoyant 5% growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector is expected this year after solid growth of 3.6% in 2017 despite the blockade. Drivers of non-hydrocarbon growth are the construction, trade and logistics, manufacturing and agriculture sectors, he stressed. He also highlighted Qatar’s trade flexibility as exports have grown by 31% since the start of the blockade, with trade re-routes especially to India and Turkey but also through growing LNG demand from Asia. He described the Qatari financial system as healthy and resilient, noting that asset quality is high with NPLs at 1.6%.

In this context, the QNB Group CEO said that the banking system is well-capitalized as Tier 1 capital adequacy was 16.5% in 2017 while profitability is also high with ROE almost 14% At Aa3, placing Qatar as one of the highest rated sovereigns in the world. The Group’s presence through its subsidiaries and associate companies now extends to more than 31 countries across three continents providing a comprehensive range of advanced products and services. The total number of employees is around 29,000 operating through more than 1,200 locations, with an ATM network of more than 4,300 machines.