Qatar Financial Centre

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Qatar Financial Centre
QFC.jpg
Founded 2005
Headquarters Doha, Qatar
Key People QFC Chairman Yousuf Hussein Kamal
Website http://www.qfc.com.qa

The Qatar Financial Center (QFC) is a taxation-favored, internationally focused business and financial center in Doha, Qatar. It consists of the QFC Authority, which runs the center, and Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority, which regulates its activities. The QFC competes mostly with the neighboring Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

History

The QFC was established by the Qatari government in 2005 with a commercial arm (QFC Authority) and a regulatory arm (QFC Regulatory Authority) as a anticipated magnet for international corporations and financial services.[1] Licensed companies can conduct business within or outside Qatar in either local currency or foreign exchange, allowing full foreign ownership and all profits to be remitted abroad.

The global financial crisis of 2007-08 hurt the ambitions of both the QFC and its neighboring rival, the DIFC, and both have seen sharp cuts as a result. In mid-2009 the QFC cut its workforce by half and refocused on appealing to insurance and asset management businesses, followed a year later by staff cuts and internal restructuring at DIFC.[2]

In November 2009, former QFC CEO Stuart Pearce was surprisingly replaced by Shashank Srivastava, concurrently the QFC Authority's director of Strategy and planning, on an acting basis.[3] The leadership changes coincided with a shift in strategy for the QFC towards attracting businesses in areas of key economic interest to Qatar as well as becoming the regional center of choice for financial services.

Key People

Qatar's Economy and Finance Minister Yousuf Hussein Kamal is chairman of the QFC Authority while Philip Thorpe has been chairman and CEO of the QFC Regulatory Authority since 2005.

Latest news

The QFC Regulatory Authority in May 2010 introduced new professional standards for doing business in QFC. The first will test regulatory and professional standards competence required for conducting insurance and investment business in QFC. A subsequent exam will focus more specifically on conducting insurance business in QFC.[4]

References

  1. About QFC. Qatar Financial Center.
  2. Dubai fights for its finance sector. Financial Times.
  3. Qatar Financial Centre sees changes in top brass. The Peninsula.
  4. QFC Regulatory Authority introduces professional standards examination for QFC investment firms. Qatar Financial Center.