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22 April 2024

No need for more aid to lenders: Qatar apex bank

No need for more aid to lenders: Qatar apex bank. (AFP)

By Reuters

Qatar does not see the need to provide more support to its banks after it spent $900 million (Dh3.3 billion) on buying bank stakes amid the global financial crisis to bolster the sector, its central bank governor said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference yesterday Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani said previous aid had been "preventive".

Qatar took a five per cent stake in listed banks' capital in December, in the second stage of a previously announced move aimed at boosting confidence in the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

"We don't need any intervention at all," he said.

Governments across the world have been grappling with whether to withdraw rescue packages or continue spending to keep economies functioning while global recovery remains fragile.

The economy of Qatar has been spared much of the effects of the global slowdown and most Qatari banks have had little exposure to other debt in the region.

Qatar's gross domestic product could surge as much 17 per cent in real terms in 2010, said Sheikh Abdullah.

According to a poll, Qatar will remain the region's leader with a 16.1 per cent jump in gross domestic product this year thanks to massive expansion of its natural gas facilities, while Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, is expected to grow by 3.8 per cent.

Sheikh Abdullah reiterated previous statements that he expected inflation to be in "single digits" in 2010, reversing a deflation cycle since June last year as a weak global economy put pressure on hydrocarbon prices and housing rents were cut amid an oversupply of housing.

Consumer prices in the Gulf state fell 5.2 per cent between January and November last year.

Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, advisor to Qatar's emir, said the country would move to ensure the economy grew at a sustainable pace.


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