Qatar banks warned on credit policy
Doha, March 12, 2009
Qatari banks should revisit credit and investment policies due to the global financial crisis and strike a balance between growth and risk, the Qatari central bank governor was quoted as saying on Thursday.
"Despite the positive outlook, we do admit that we are not isolated from the world and the crisis that is inflicting others is also affecting us to a certain extent," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani, according to an article in The Peninsula newspaper.
The Qatari central bank head said the government will keep public spending high on development projects and that the economy remained relatively intact amid the global financial crisis, according to the article.
Instructions have been issued to local banks to take precautionary steps to mitigate credit risks, the paper said.
The policy instructions come after the Gulf oil and gas exporter said on Monday it would buy banks' investment portfolios to boost liquidity and encourage lending, the second major move by Qatar to support its banking sector.
Several Gulf countries have devised policies to counteract the impact of the global financial crisis on their economies.
Qatar said in October it would buy 10-20 percent of listed banks' capital to boost investor confidence, in a $5.3 billion programme through the wealth fund. -Reuters