The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has welcomed Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Credit Agricole CIB), and VakifBank to its platform, both authorised by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).
The newly-licensed banks represent a key milestone in the QFC’s strategy to attract an increasing number of financial institutions to its platform. Credit Agricole CIB, the corporate and investment arm of the Credit Agricole Group, specialises in the businesses of capital markets and investment and corporate banking and also represents the 12th largest banking group worldwide in terms of tier 1 capital.
Henk J Hoogendoorn, managing director, Financial Sector, QFC
VakifBank is the fourth largest bank in Turkey in terms of asset size and takes a leading role in financing domestic and foreign trade through over 930 branches.
QFCA CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said: “Credit Agricole CIB and VakifBank on the QFC platform represent a great milestone in our efforts to attract leading financial institutions to Qatar and deliver on our financial services strategy, a sector we have been pursuing more aggressively since announcing our 2022 strategy last year.
“Credit Agricole CIB and VakifBank join 12 other banks already licensed on the platform, and this is testament to both the QFC’s ongoing efforts in promoting economic diversification and to the continued international confidence in expanding to the Qatari market.”
Henk J Hoogendoorn, managing director, Financial Sector, QFCA, said: “QFC is committed to the growth of Qatar’s financial services industry, and we are pleased to welcome Credit Agricole CIB and VakifBank to the QFC platform and see more financial institutions turning to Qatar for expansion. In addition to banks, we are continuing to encourage asset and investment managers, as well as fintechs, to tune into the promising opportunities in the Qatari market. We also anticipate soon having regulations in place for representative offices for banks to operate in Qatar.”
In line with its 2022 strategy announced last year, the QFC continues to aggressively pursue financial services as a key focus cluster, as well as the sports, media, and digital sectors. The focus on financial services includes attracting financial institutions, as well as firms in the Islamic finance, fintech, asset management, and capital markets sub-sectors.
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as working within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation avoidance agreement network with 81 countries.