Qatar Finance & Banking

Qatar Finance & Banking Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

The Qatar Monetary Agency (QMA) was set up in 1973 with a mandate to carry out the functions of a central bank. It maintains supervision, coordination and control of the banking sector in addition to issuing directives necessary to guide and regulate the activities of the banks and the financial corporations operating in the country.

QMA also regulates insurance, circulation and withdrawal of currency, maintains stability of currency both inside and outside the country and guarantees that the Qatar riyal is freely convertible on the world market. It is also charged with planning a banking, financial, credit and monetary system that helps develop the national economy within the framework of a stable monetary system.

In 1990, QMA's governor was given the status of a cabinet minister and the deputy governor the status of an under-secretary. This brought about a higher degree of independence which enabled the agency to discharge its duties and carry on its activities with greater efficiency.

There are 14 commercial banks operating in the State of Qatar. The law stipulates that in order to be eligible for a license, a bank must have a minimum paid-up capital of QR5 million and a working capital of similar amount retained for operations in Qatar if it is a subsidiary of a foreign bank.

There are six national banks in Qatar:

Qatar National Bank

The Commercial Bank of Qatar

Doha Bank

Qatar Islamic Bank

Al Ahli Bank

Qatar International Islamic Bank

Other banks in Qatar include two Arab banks and six foreign ones:

Arab Bank Ltd.

Al Mashriq Bank

Banque Paribas

British Bank of the Middle East

Chartered Bank

Bank Saderat Iran

Grindlay's Bank

United Bank

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