Doha, 14 April 2015 -QNB, “One of the World’s Strongest Banks”, has given its full support and will further explore potential opportunities arising from the establishment of the first Middle East “Clearing Hub” for Chinese Currency launched in Doha. The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) initiative was celebrated yesterday at an official opening ceremony attended by dignitaries drawn from across Qatar’s Banking Sector. QNB was a Platinum Sponsor of the prestigious occasion.
The Regional Clearing Hub concept was one of the key provisions of the financial agreements signed between The State of Qatar and The People’s Republic of China following discussions held between the two countries in November 2014.
With the Clearing Hub now opened, QNB Group hopes to play a significant future role in assisting Middle Eastern and African clients with respect to their Renminbi requirements. This is derived from its strong South East Asian presence and its ability to conduct specialist business transactions across the areas of currency clearing, trade finance, asset and wealth management and treasury services.
Commenting on the significance of the new Clearing Hub initiative with China, Noor Al Noaimi, Acting GM Treasury said: “As the biggest bank in Qatar, QNB is fully aligned and supportive of this QCB led initiative. The creation of the first official Middle East and Africa based Clearing Hub for Renminbi will serve client needs and place Doha at the heart of Middle East-China trade. It will provide a significant “East-West” corridor for those clients and businesses who wish to transact in RMB currency and do business in one of the largest economies in the world. As the only Qatari Bank based in China, we believe that QNB is well placed to commercially benefit from this direct clearing infrastructure and provide future value and benefit for a growing number of clients who have an international perspective.
As part of our growing Asian expansion plans and aspirations, QNB’s network of operations will now take on the role of extending intermediary services in the field of investment and trade with Middle East companies that are looking to establish their business in China or looking to invest in Asia. In addition, QNB will also act as intermediary with Chinese and Asian companies that are looking to expand into the growing Middle East and Africa markets and facilitate investment activities”.
The QNB Group approach and support for the Regional Clearing Hub concept revolves around the twin pillars of robust financial performance and prudent international expansion.
QNB Group enjoys one of the highest Financial Services Credit Ratings in the MENA Region. In a recent upgrade by internationally renowned Fitch Ratings to AA- (from the previous A+), their comprehensive Report singled out QNB as “The Flagship Bank” in the Qatar Banking Industry with its impressive market performance and strong public and private sector business relationships.
At the heart of this strong QNB credit ratings story is a robust and growing financial performance. In addition, QNB confirmed its position as “One of the Top 50 World’s Safest Banks” in The Global Finance Annual Survey 2014. However, the QNB Group’s continuous strong financial performance is both complemented and supported by an expanding international presence.
QNB Group is both the leading Financial Institution and the Number 1 Banking Brand by value in The Middle East and Africa. It currently operates in more than 27 countries across 3 Continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and has a strong presence in South East Asia. QNB Group’s growing network of locations in the region include: Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam and India. At the heart of the QNB Group business proposition in Asia is the promotion and stimulation of developing “East-West” flows of trade between and the continent. The recent opening of a new QNB Vietnam Office in Ho Chi Minh City was further evidence of the Group’s commitment to growing its network of locations in key markets around the world.
This growth in the International Network provides commercial investment opportunities both into respective markets by QNB and through respective income streams back into the domestic Qatar market. This flow of trade is particularly relevant for QNB’s current “push” into the markets of South East Asia and Africa and is in alignment with QNB’s vision to be a MEA Icon by 2017.
In line with this objective, QNB Group acquired a 19.4% stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a leading pan-African bank with presence in 36 countries across the African continent in 2014. This strategic partnership is another fundamental step in QNB’s international expansion plans and provides a commercial platform for the business to develop its core strengths and product offerings to a growing client base within The State of Qatar and internationally.
All of the above combines to make QNB a first port of call for Clients or interested parties with Chinese Direct Clearing or settlement requirements to work with “The biggest bank in The Middle East and North Africa”. Importantly, the establishment of the new Regional Clearing Hub is further testament to the success and growing influence of Qatar’s position within International Financial Markets.