Qatar - Banking and securities

Qatar's monetary and banking system is headed by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB). The bank supervises all banks and money exchange companies in Qatar. In 1993, the QCB was established to assume the functions of the Qatar Monetary Agency. The bank was set up in part to make it independent of the Ministry of Finance and Petroleum. The QCB is responsibly for assuring that all banks operating in Qatar comply with international standards and auditing procedures. Total assets of all banks operating in Qatar was estimated at $13.8 billion in 2000. As of 1999, there were 14 banks operating in Qatar: seven national, two Arab, and six foreign. There were also 10 money exchange companies. The Qatar National Bank is the largest with total assets exceeding $5 billion.

The Qatari Riyal was fixed to the US dollar at a rate of US $1= QR 3.65 in June 1980, and has remained at that rate to date. However, for practical purposes the rate is US $1= QR 3.639. Because the exchange rate is fixed, Qatar cannot employ monetary policy for domestic price regulation and employment objectives. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $1.4 billion. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $7.9 billion.

There is no stock exchange. Shares in Qatari public companies are traded through banks.

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