Mar. 25, 2015

Khalid Yousef Abdulla Al-Subeai


Khalid Yousef Abdulla Al-Subeai

Acting Group CEO, Barwa Bank


Khalid Yousef Abdulla Al-Subeai graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Finance and has gone on to hold several key positions within the finance sector in Qatar. He was Senior Financial Advisor at Qatar Petroleum (QP) for more than six years. As part of the Project Finance team, he was directly involved in the execution of over $15 billion in landmark debt capital market transactions for QP, its subsidiaries, and the State of Qatar. Subsequent to this, he moved on to hold the position of Morgan Stanley Qatar Manager, where he was responsible for Qatar Client Coverage. He joined The First Investor (TFI) as Deputy CEO in January 2013, and was then appointed acting CEO of Barwa Bank Group in March 9, 2014. He brings with him over nine years of investment banking experience with knowledge of the local and international markets.

Having opened its doors in 2009, Barwa Bank has already made a real impact by realizing substantial growth rates every year. What are the main forces behind this rapid growth?

It was our decision to choose service as a point of competition. We really have the desire to make the bank revolve around the customers. We focus on understanding and catering to our clients' needs, ensuring the best-in-class service possible, and offering tailor-made services that satisfy those needs. We understand that the mass-market network for banking is already well provided for, but we feel that there is a space for a focused bank that looks at service for a selective customer base, and clearly our clients agree. In 2013, we maintained our title of fastest growing bank in Qatar in terms of profitability and also in terms of asset growth. Another advantage we have is the way we operate. We have a light hierarchy, which enables us to move quickly when it comes to decision-making and execution. That flexibility makes our business model unique in many ways.

The sukuk market in Qatar is likely to continue to grow due to big infrastructure projects in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. How does this development feature in the growth strategy of the bank?

The sukuk market is an important area of growth for us. Since our inception, we've worked extensively on building a qualified team that can compete in this sector. We have held several joint lead management positions for a number of sukuks, namely the State of Qatar sukuk, followed by the Republic of Turkey sukuk in 2012, which is a testament to our competence and expertise domestically and internationally. The capital markets business is very much a credentials business, and being involved in such high-profile transactions has the virtue of attracting new business. We're confident that we'll continue to play an increased role in future sukuk issuance. When it comes to sukuk, we are particularly proud to have set and launched the first sukuk trading platform in Qatar.

The Qatar Exchange went from being a frontier market to being considered as an emerging market in 2014. What does this mean for Qatar's financial sector and the economy as a whole?

We're very excited and happy for the acknowledgement of the many achievements of the financial sector in Qatar. It's the result of years of hard work and the clear strategy laid out by our financial sector regulators and executed by all financial institutions in the country, backed by a strong economic environment at the state level. This acknowledgement will definitely serve to increase the already huge appetite of investors and businesses to enter the Qatari market and will further cement Qatar's position as a regional financial center. We at Barwa Bank are extremely excited about this, and expect to see an increase in business activity as a result.