Islamic financial services (IFS) are playing an increasingly important role in Qatar’s economy, and the sector is poised for growth as the gas-rich country continues to invest in infrastructure and the expansion of its energy sector. In 2019 the country’s first bank merger, between Barwa Bank and conventional lender International Bank of Qatar, created a new sharia-compliant entity with a 6% market share, and the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) signalled its intent to create a centralised standards…
Islamic Financial Services
From The Report: Qatar 2020
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Sharia-compliant banks are the dominant players in Qatar’s IFS sector, and the merger between Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar is a crucial step in increasing the sector’s share of the country’s overall banking market, which has experienced a decline in recent years. Although conventional players still dominate both the banking and insurance sectors, recent growth figures indicate that there is an increasing appetite for sharia-compliant banking and takaful (Islamic insurance), particularly in the domestic market. Looking ahead, the QCB’s decision to standardise and centralise sharia regulations looks set to boost confidence and encourage growth. This chapter contains interviews with Bassel Gamal, Group CEO, Qatar Islamic Bank; and Abdulbasit Ahmed Al Shaibei, CEO, Qatar International Islamic Bank.