The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Qatar’s banks eye consolidation as blockade and Covid pressures ease

marbles-jar-Qatar-colours-free-960.jpg

The tie up between Masraf Al Rayan and Al Khalij Commercial Bank could be the first of many as cost cutting and profitability top the banking agenda.

For many people outside Qatar interest in the tiny Gulf emirate over the last year has focused on its preparations for the football World Cup tournament that is, somewhat controversially, being hosted there at the end of 2022. But for the resource-rich nation’s banking community – where local lenders have long processed the petrodollars that flow plentifully into national coffers from the country’s oil and gas pipelines – 2021 has been an exciting year.

It kicked off with that rarest of things in Qatar: a bank merger. In January, relative newcomers to the Qatari market, Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan, which was founded in 2006, and Al Khalij Commercial Bank (known locally as Al Khaliji), founded in 2007, announced plans to joined forces to create Qatar’s biggest Islamic bank.

The new entity would have over QR182 billion ($49.9 billion) in total assets.

The $2.2 billion deal was finally sealed in December and was the only the second-ever bank merger in Qatar, a small state that many Gulf banking observers agree is overbanked. The first was the 2018 union of International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) and Islamic Barwa Bank, which created Dukhan Bank.

There needs to be at least one more merger.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

Tags

Eric Ellis headshot.jpeg
Eric Ellis
Eric Ellis has covered Asia for Euromoney since 2006. He is a former southeast Asia-correspondent for Fortune Magazine and Time, and an ex-Asia correspondent for Australia’s economic and business newspaper the Australian Financial Review.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree