The Business Year

Steve Troop

Steve Troop

CEO, Barwa Bank

Dr. R Seetharaman

CEO, Doha Bank Group

What is the bank’s positioning in the Qatari market? STEVE TROOP We are the newest, youngest, and fastest growing Islamic bank in Qatar. We are focused and differentiated, and do […]

What is the bank’s positioning in the Qatari market?

STEVE TROOP We are the newest, youngest, and fastest growing Islamic bank in Qatar. We are focused and differentiated, and do not seek to be all-things-to-all-men, competing hard only in areas where we believe we can add value to relationships.

R SEETHARAMAN Doha Bank launched Al-Dana 2013, which marked the 10th anniversary of its Al-Dana savings program. Keeping within the theme, we awarded QAR10 million in cash, 10 Mercedes E-300 luxury cars, and 10 vacation packages to the winners of its lucky draws during 2013. Doha Bank and Visa announced the completion of their latest promotion, awarding 30 cash prizes to 30 lucky winners who used their Doha Bank Visa debit cards outside Qatar in foreign currency transactions at points of sale and at ATMs. As part of its commitment to its customers, Doha Bank also allowed customers to utilize their Doha Bank Dream Loyalty Points to purchase their tickets at designated outlets where Doha Bank has exclusively installed point of sale terminals with loyalty acceptance. In another significant development, Doha Bank extended its arrangements with Indiabulls Group to offer non-resident Indians (NRIs) exclusive deals on homes. Doha Bank has again set a new Guinness World Record for having built the world’s largest soccer ball, which is currently on display in the country. We also promote green banking as a means of sustainability.

What products do you take particular pride in?

ST We offer a full range of banking and investment services with an emphasis on responsiveness and customer service quality. In addition, we introduce our customers to unique investment opportunities available exclusively through Barwa Bank. We have an investment banking subsidiary (The First Investor) and an increasingly sophisticated treasury team that “manufacture” with the bank with a focus on distribution. Good examples are our Brazilian Real Estate Income fund and structured products through to more exotic examples, such as the Colored Diamond Fund we run with Aspreys of London.

RS Doha Bank’s SME banking solutions are rated in the market leader category. It is our most diversified product base, comprehensively covering customer requirements, that has earned us this position. We cater to each and every business need, be it local purchase requirements, import requirements, working capital financing, or CAPEX. Short-term procurement financing for local purchases is a particularly attractive product for SMEs.

What is your outlook for the banking sector in the coming years?

ST Given the rapid growth of the economy and the ambitious plans set out in the National Vision, the scope and scale of the opportunity here in Qatar is very significant indeed. I would say the outlook is extraordinarily positive.

RS In April 2013, the IMF revised the economic growth rate for Qatar to 5.2%. The non-hydrocarbon sector is expected to grow by 9.6% in 2013. By the end of 2013, service activity is expected to contribute more than 60% of the total growth in Qatar’s economy. Construction activity is also expected to perform strongly this year. In 1Q2013, lending in the Qatari banking sector grew by almost 1.5% year to date. The retail and contract segments are the key sectors to have driven growth in 2013. Meanwhile, lending is expected to pick up in the contract financing, government, and SME sectors.



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