Sheikha Maryam Al Thani

Sheikha Maryam Al Thani

CEO, Qatar Credit Bureau
Sheikh Ahmed Al Thani

Sheikh Ahmed Al Thani

Chief Economist, Qatar Credit Bureau
Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori

Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori

CEO, Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE)
Qatar Credit Bureau and the Qatar Stock Exchange continue to play a key role in line with the growing maturity of Qatar's financial markets and the growing diversification of the economy.

What value does Qatar Credit Bureau add in terms of credit and financial information to in-house financial reports?

SHEIKHA MARYAM AL THANI The most important thing we offer is credit score; we include individuals, corporates, and insurance companies alike. We provide rank ordering to showcase the risk profile of clients. Some banks have full integration between their systems and ours, and those who apply for credit information can get a response in a few minutes. They will get the credit score instantly and based on that and their own criteria they can approve the loan online in minutes.

SAAT Before we offered this service, it used to take days; it would have to go to a credit admin and the credit admin would have to approve the offer. The systems of QNB and CBQ are already fully integrated with ours. The difference between our score and banks' internal systems is that we have data from all lenders in the country—car loan companies, banks, financial institutions, and even telecom companies. Based on the full set of data, we can offer a score and customer risk profile at a country level, and not only based on the information they have.

Why are SMEs so important for the economic future of Qatar, and how are you raising awareness about the liquidity opportunities QSE offers?

RASHID BIN ALI AL MANSOORI SMEs contribute significantly to the economy, as they will be key to achieving a diversification of revenue away from hydrocarbons to other sectors. QSE is keen to attract family companies and SMEs to the exchange and has an active outreach program to encourage them to list. It also has partnerships and agreements with other institutions, such as the Qatar Development Bank, to support their SME development activities. Qatar Exchange Venture Market is envisioned as the 'Home of Entrepreneurial Qatari companies,' adding value locally with the potential to compete globally. We have worked on developing the ecosystem for empowering SMEs listing on QSE and emphasized that this ecosystem is particularly important for the success and future growth of SMEs. We are working hard with our partners to ensure a healthy pipeline of suitably qualified companies is able to come to our market. Listing is a solution for succession and business continuity considerations.

How have the measures taken by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic relieved the pressure over the finance sector?

SMAT Qatar has put two measures in place to help companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the central bank has encouraged banks to defer payments for all economic sectors affected by offering a repurchase agreement with a lowered interest rate. The other thing it is doing is a national guarantee program for all companies affected by COVID-19 and that want to get new credit.

What role does a sound and transparent financial system play in the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030?

SHEIKH AHMED AL THANI Regarding the Qatar National Vision, we can contribute to the third pillar, which is diversification. Having a sound credit information system in the country helps the non-oil and gas sector grow steadily. In developed markets, 40% of jobs and GDP depend on SMEs. In our region, this is a small contribution. No more than 5% of bank loan portfolios go to SMEs, which is extremely low compared to other developed countries. Having this system will help us grow the SME sector, and we see this as our main contribution to the Qatar National Vision 2030.

What is your assessment on the level of financial and capital markets preparation of Qatari youth, and how they are adapting to new digital trends and technologies?

RBAAM Qataris are well educated, not only in terms of financial and capital markets literacy but also in all sorts of skills. The stock exchange itself is fully digitalized, with our brokers operating digitally and the trading happening through digital platforms.

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