QFC Holds Qatar Financial Market Forum On Debt Capital Market And Sustainable Financing

23 Jan 2023

Qatar financial market forum - QFC

The banking sector plays a big role in translating sustainability ambitions into reality. By leveraging this power, we can address many environmental challenges we face today.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida

Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority

23 January 2023, Doha – Qatar: Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, organised the Qatar Financial Market forum under the theme “From Sustainable Financing to Debt Capital Markets, Uncovering Solutions for the Future of Banking in Qatar”. The event explored Qatar’s banking funding landscape and strategies to steer the industry toward sustainable and inclusive growth.

The forum, a joint effort between the QFC and Bloomberg Intelligence, convened leaders and key stakeholders from private companies, government entities and financial institutions for a day of dialogue covering consequential topics around banks funding, debt capital markets and sustainable finance.

Commenting on the event, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC,
said: “The banking sector plays a big role in translating sustainability ambitions into reality. By leveraging this power, we can address many environmental challenges we face today. QFC has played an integral part in Qatar’s capital market development journey, and we are proud to collaborate with Bloomberg Intelligence in organising this forum for an open discourse on how we can maximise the financial solutions to advance national sustainability objectives.”

It included three presentations, including an analysis of the ‘2023 Energy Outlook’ by Salih Yilmaz, Senior Research Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence; ‘Health Check on the GCC Banking Sector’ by Edmond Christou, Senior Research Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence, and ‘Domestic Debt Capital Market in Qatar: Potential and Building Blocks’ by Ayman Doukali, Head of Islamic & Structured Finance, Qatar Financial Centre.

Speaking at the event, Edmond Christou, Senior Research Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence, said: “Although we have seen lower debt issuance by Qatari banks last year, diversification of the funding mix remains a key area of focus given local lenders’ debt makes up 8% of overall liabilities, in comparison to over 11% for international peers. Developing a domestic capital market helps banks tap into liquidity and strengthen long-term funding, to support a growing infrastructure pipeline.”

The presentations were followed by two panel discussions themed ‘Developing a Domestic Debt Capital Market and its Impact on the Banking Sector’ and ‘Sustainable Finance & ESG in Qatar’, which covered critical factors that impact Qatar’s financial market and business environment.

The first panel featured Edmond Christou, Senior Research Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence; Akber Khan, Senior Director, Al Rayan Investment.; Pravesh Malhotra, Head of Investments, Commercial Bank of Qatar; and Ayman Doukali, Head of Islamic & Structured Finance, Qatar. Their discussion focused on the liquidity position of Qatari banks and its performance based on the dynamics of local and foreign currency funding situation, the challenges impacting funding environment, the role of a potential domestic debt capital market in improving the Qatari capital market and other aspects that affect Qatar’s banking sector.

The second panel, which featured Lea El-Hage, Senior Associate, Bloomberg Intelligence; Mohsin Mujtaba, Director, Qatar Stock Exchange, Tahir Pirzada, GM, Group Treasurer & Financial Institutions, Masraf Al Rayan; Ifzal Nawaz, Head of Financial Institutions Group & Public Sector, HSBC; and Leo Chi  Wai Tong, Head of Sustainability, Qatar National Bank, covered the regional and global ESG trends, the ESG/sustainable finance commitments made by Qatari financial institutions, the benefits of green and sustainable financing schemes to the private sector, and the ESG considerations of foreign investors when evaluating investments in Qatar and the region. Both panels were moderated by Simone Foxman, Correspondent, Bloomberg.

Bloomberg data shared during the forum highlighted that since 2019, Gulf banks had issued $105 billion worth of debt, but only five per cent of which are green bonds, indicating a significant growth potential for green or sustainable finance, especially with the increasing number of organisations adhering to ESG principles.

Qatar is on the path to developing a more diversified capital market. With established regulations for the governance of existing and new financial investments and continued efforts to adopt comprehensive approaches to capital market development, the country is set to establish a niche sustainable finance market, which is expected to reach a global value of over $22 trillion by 2031.

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