QFC sees 25 new licenses in 2009
Doha, April 28, 2009
The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) expects to grant about 25 financial and business licenses in 2009 as continued economic growth attracts companies, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
"We are receiving high level of interest from companies already operating in the Middle East region to use the QFC as a regional hub for them," Layla Salem said. "Also we have the same interest from international firms with high demand for asset management applications."
Qatar is competing with neighbouring Dubai and Bahrain to attract international and regional financial companies to the region. The Qatar Financial Centre, which was set up in 2005, has 104 registered companies.
The companies applying for licences include banks, insurance, law companies and a fund manager, the spokeswoman said.
Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is forecast to post economic growth of 18 percent in 2009 while Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, is expected to have a 0.9 percent contraction, the International Monetary Fund said this month.
Growth in the Qatari economy, which was 16.5 percent in 2008, will be driven by the country's LNG production, which is set to double this year. LNG is gas cooled to a liquid to be transported by ships. Qatar sits on the world's third-largest gas reserves. - Reuters