Oxford Business Group and Dukhan Bank launch new Covid-19 Response Report
Doha, October 31, 2021: A new Covid-19 Response Report (CRR), produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with Dukhan Bank, explores the key contributions that the banking sector and Islamic finance segment are set to make to post-pandemic growth.
The report provides in-depth analysis of the general banking sector’s performance before and during the pandemic in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics.
The report notes that strong fundamentals and a positive performance in key risk indicators prior to the pandemic meant financial institutions were well placed to withstand the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, it provides an analysis of the sector’s promising prospects for recovery, supported by above-average loan growth and healthy credit expansion, despite continued low interest rates and ongoing pressure on asset quality indicators.
It tracks the digital transformation under way across the industry, which is set to deliver a wide range of benefits to financial service providers that successfully keep up with the pace of change by extending their portfolio of online services to meet customer demand.
The report also charts the asset growth evident within the Islamic finance segment in particular, and highlights the high-value opportunities available for players operating in the field, which include infrastructure funding, green sukuk issuances and mortgage solutions.
The CRR also maps out Dukhan Bank’s growth story, from the groundbreaking merger of Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar in 2019, which created a major player in Shariah-compliant banking, to its successful efforts to ensure safety and business continuity through digital transformation. In this section, the report looks in detail at Dukhan Bank’s new strategy to expand its market share and improve its service offering in the coming years.
Commenting ahead of the report’s launch, Khalid Al-Subeai, CEO, Dukhan Bank, said the migration to digital banking and rising demand for Islamic financial services and products in Qatar were combining to produce a wealth of opportunities across the industry.
“Digital transactions in Qatar are poised for further growth, buoyed by the accelerated uptake of online banking services during the pandemic,” he said. “Looking ahead, fintech advancements and other tech-led innovations are expected to help the Shariah-compliant segment expand its reach and appeal, paving the way for the introduction of new products and services as Qatar’s broader economic diversification gathers pace.”
Jana Treeck, OBG’s Managing Director for the Middle East, said that Qatar’s efforts to develop new growth engines and diversify its trade partners in the immediate years before the pandemic had given the national economy added resilience, while also producing a diverse range of opportunities for investors.
“Qatar’s economy contracted by 2.6% in 2020, according to the IMF, but is on course to make a strong and sustainable recovery, supported by international demand for gas and reforms that have enhanced the business environment,” Treeck said. “With the FIFA World Cup 2022 expected to lift both consumer sentiment and expenditure, relations with key GCC members strengthened and energy prices forecast to rise, the country is well placed for a robust rebound.”
The analysis of Qatar’s banking industry forms part of a series of tailored reports which OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.