Wealth management 'key for Qatar banks'
Doha, August 27, 2010
Pursuing new avenues of growth such as wealth management is critical for Qatari banks if they want to flourish in an overcrowded market and achieve a regional role that matches the country's economic super status, said an expert.
With a soaring economy and a gross domestic product expected to grow 16 per cent this year, Qatar's economic outlook is among the world's brightest.
But the financial windfall that has showered it in wealth will not be sufficient alone to propel its domestic banks to a more dominant role in the Gulf region.
'In general, Qatari banks are a little bit behind their counterparts in the Gulf when it comes to development of their business models and diversifying their income streams,' said Douglas Beal, partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group Middle East.
Combined, Qatari banks represent 11pc of assets in the Gulf, research from Kuwait-based Kamco shows, compared with 35.6pc in Saudi, 15.5pc in Kuwait, and 30.6pc in the UAE.
Although hurt by the impact of lower oil prices and the abrupt halt in the real estate boom, Qatari banks received substantial support from the government in the form of capital injections and facilities to remove poorly performing assets from their books.
As a result, no Qatari commercial bank declared a net loss in either 2008 or 2009.