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Qatar overhauls financial centre’s strategy

Qatar Financial Centre move to attract asset management and insurance come as questions over David Proctor detention grow; Doha exchange makes international appointments.

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has announced a change in strategy refocusing its efforts away from banking towards asset management, reinsurance and captive insurance as part of the gas-rich emirate’s bid to be a regional financial hub.

The new strategies mark the next phase of the development of the QFC Authority, the organization that oversees the centre. “The QFC Authority will continue to work closely with financial and business organizations and government departments in Qatar to encourage and ensure the building of a financial services sector and workforce in Qatar,” says Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Shaibi, delegated member of the QFC Authority.

Qatar has continued to grow strongly despite the global economic slowdown with some analysts forecasting its GDP could rise 16% this year. Its banks, however, have struggled requiring government help through a bailout last July. The plan involved the state clearing up to $4.1 billion of troubled real estate loans and investments from lenders’ balance sheets.

Qatar’s rule of law and governance have also come into question following Euromoney’s revelation that David Proctor, a British banker recruited to build a local bank, is unable to leave Qatar as the authorities there decline to grant him an exit visa.

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