HSBC Qatar: Global banking with regional touch

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi
HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi

Global banking giant HSBC opened its first branch in Qatar in 1954. Since then, the bank has managed to set a significant foothold in commercial and private banking in the state. Inside Investor sat down with HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi to hear more.

Q: Please provide a brief summary of HSBC’s activities here in Qatar. What are the main projects you are involved in, who are your main partners?

A:  HSBC is no stranger to Qatar, having had a presence here for almost 60 years; since 1954. We have 3 conveniently located branches and offer a full range of products and services from Retail Banking (such as the debit and credit cards that you and I use) to commercial, global and private banking. As a global bank we leverage our international network and this is one of the reasons many of the top Qatari companies choose to bank with us – our global nature often matches their global ambitions. We have been instrumental in driving the business and success of some of the leading institutions. Additionally, we are one of the world’s leading banks in emerging markets and have strong expertise in helping small and medium sized enterprises grow and develop. Here in Qatar we have and support various programs to assist SMEs including the SME Evolution Programme established by Enterprise Qatar. We are able to bring best practices and expertise from our global network to bear here in Qatar and are proud to be able to support this burgeoning sector.

Q: You have stated previously that Qatar is ‘one of the most competitive banking environments in the region’. How does HSBC Qatar aim to grow in this market given the abundance of local banks? What products and services do you provide your corporate clients and how are they different to those provided by your competitors?

A: We are the largest international bank in Qatar and as mentioned previously, our global nature very often matches our clients’ global ambitions. Qatar has always been a trading country and this reflects our trade and receivable finance expertise perfectly – we provide end-to-end solutions with representation most often in both the export and import country. We are also market leaders in payments and cash management services with unequalled e-banking solutions for corporates through HSBC-Net. We were the first bank to establish an investment banking platform in Qatar and we continue to offer added value services for our multi-national and SOQ customers.  We are the market leaders in the sukuk and bond market. We were also the first bank to offer custodian services in Qatar and have the lead in the market.

Q: Qatar has one of the fastest growing economies in the GCC, and with that an exponential growth in the wealth of individuals and families. How has HSBC Qatar grown its wealth management business?

A: There is huge growth in this country at the moment across most of the sectors and industries. The success of the past few years has indeed created wealth for both individuals and corporates and this needs to be channelled and managed properly. At the moment Qatar only offers access to the local equity markets in addition to direct investments into real estate, however we are able to offer investors the tools to be able to invest globally. This is where our investment advisory team comes in, they are the ones who can advise and define the investment structures that match our clients risk appetite and time-frame. Additionally we advise on estate planning and trusts on international ownerships including real estate. Take a look at the massive investments by Qatar in global cities such as London and Paris, there is increasing exposure to international markets and we are the ones who can provide expert advice on mitigating risks and maximising returns. I mentioned previously that we have had a role in the successes of some of the leading Qatari family firms. This is another aspect of our business that is very relevant. We offer family governance services to family businesses here, we learn the dynamics of the family, the culture, implement strategies for continuity and the successful transfer from one generation to another.  Lastly, and again I am going to return to the global nature of HSBC, many of our clients require the ability to move their wealth around the world. We offer multiple accounts around the world that are linked and able to be managed online and in real time through technology.

HSBC buildingQ: The GCC region is expected to continue its growth into 2013, however, in your opinion, what are the main risks in the region that could affect this growth? Do you foresee a drop in oil prices due to a drop in Euro-Sino trade? How will the economic issues in the developed world (US and Eurozone) affect the regions and Qatar’s economic growth?

A: Global financial challenges remain and nobody is isolated from the impact of the deterioration in the global economy. Even the GCC countries with oil-based economies cannot be guaranteed not to feel the pressure. However, most of the economies in the GCC have reported budget surpluses in 2012.  (Kuwait Budget Surplus for the current fiscal year estimated at $50 billion, Qatar estimating $8 billion after increasing spending plans, Saudi at $103 billion etc.) Their contingency plans to buffer sudden drops in the oil price include actions to work from a lower oil price estimate, to carefully execute development plans over the long-term and to focus on the projects that are most important, rather than to spend excessively in the short-term. East-to-East trade is also increasing with main export partners in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, India and UAE.  Main import partners are US, China, Japan, UAE and Germany.

Q: The Qatari government has set aside $130 billion in investment plans in Qatar by 2016. How will HSBC Qatar take advantage of this boom in spending and projects? How does HSBC Qatar work with local banks and financial institutions?

A: We have been in Qatar for almost 60 years and have built strong and meaningful relationships with the local banking sector. The scale and complexity of the projects being proposed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and under the 2030 National Vision means that working with our local partners is essential – the funding of these projects requires multiple solutions that no one bank can provide. We leverage our international presence and expertise and work with our local partners to provide the right solutions for the projects in the pipeline – be they infrastructure such as roads, sewage, desalination, and power to a rail network, stadiums and hotels.

 

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi

Global banking giant HSBC opened its first branch in Qatar in 1954. Since then, the bank has managed to set a significant foothold in commercial and private banking in the state. Inside Investor sat down with HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi to hear more.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi
HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi

Global banking giant HSBC opened its first branch in Qatar in 1954. Since then, the bank has managed to set a significant foothold in commercial and private banking in the state. Inside Investor sat down with HSBC Qatar’s CEO Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi to hear more.

Q: Please provide a brief summary of HSBC’s activities here in Qatar. What are the main projects you are involved in, who are your main partners?

A:  HSBC is no stranger to Qatar, having had a presence here for almost 60 years; since 1954. We have 3 conveniently located branches and offer a full range of products and services from Retail Banking (such as the debit and credit cards that you and I use) to commercial, global and private banking. As a global bank we leverage our international network and this is one of the reasons many of the top Qatari companies choose to bank with us – our global nature often matches their global ambitions. We have been instrumental in driving the business and success of some of the leading institutions. Additionally, we are one of the world’s leading banks in emerging markets and have strong expertise in helping small and medium sized enterprises grow and develop. Here in Qatar we have and support various programs to assist SMEs including the SME Evolution Programme established by Enterprise Qatar. We are able to bring best practices and expertise from our global network to bear here in Qatar and are proud to be able to support this burgeoning sector.

Q: You have stated previously that Qatar is ‘one of the most competitive banking environments in the region’. How does HSBC Qatar aim to grow in this market given the abundance of local banks? What products and services do you provide your corporate clients and how are they different to those provided by your competitors?

A: We are the largest international bank in Qatar and as mentioned previously, our global nature very often matches our clients’ global ambitions. Qatar has always been a trading country and this reflects our trade and receivable finance expertise perfectly – we provide end-to-end solutions with representation most often in both the export and import country. We are also market leaders in payments and cash management services with unequalled e-banking solutions for corporates through HSBC-Net. We were the first bank to establish an investment banking platform in Qatar and we continue to offer added value services for our multi-national and SOQ customers.  We are the market leaders in the sukuk and bond market. We were also the first bank to offer custodian services in Qatar and have the lead in the market.

Q: Qatar has one of the fastest growing economies in the GCC, and with that an exponential growth in the wealth of individuals and families. How has HSBC Qatar grown its wealth management business?

A: There is huge growth in this country at the moment across most of the sectors and industries. The success of the past few years has indeed created wealth for both individuals and corporates and this needs to be channelled and managed properly. At the moment Qatar only offers access to the local equity markets in addition to direct investments into real estate, however we are able to offer investors the tools to be able to invest globally. This is where our investment advisory team comes in, they are the ones who can advise and define the investment structures that match our clients risk appetite and time-frame. Additionally we advise on estate planning and trusts on international ownerships including real estate. Take a look at the massive investments by Qatar in global cities such as London and Paris, there is increasing exposure to international markets and we are the ones who can provide expert advice on mitigating risks and maximising returns. I mentioned previously that we have had a role in the successes of some of the leading Qatari family firms. This is another aspect of our business that is very relevant. We offer family governance services to family businesses here, we learn the dynamics of the family, the culture, implement strategies for continuity and the successful transfer from one generation to another.  Lastly, and again I am going to return to the global nature of HSBC, many of our clients require the ability to move their wealth around the world. We offer multiple accounts around the world that are linked and able to be managed online and in real time through technology.

HSBC buildingQ: The GCC region is expected to continue its growth into 2013, however, in your opinion, what are the main risks in the region that could affect this growth? Do you foresee a drop in oil prices due to a drop in Euro-Sino trade? How will the economic issues in the developed world (US and Eurozone) affect the regions and Qatar’s economic growth?

A: Global financial challenges remain and nobody is isolated from the impact of the deterioration in the global economy. Even the GCC countries with oil-based economies cannot be guaranteed not to feel the pressure. However, most of the economies in the GCC have reported budget surpluses in 2012.  (Kuwait Budget Surplus for the current fiscal year estimated at $50 billion, Qatar estimating $8 billion after increasing spending plans, Saudi at $103 billion etc.) Their contingency plans to buffer sudden drops in the oil price include actions to work from a lower oil price estimate, to carefully execute development plans over the long-term and to focus on the projects that are most important, rather than to spend excessively in the short-term. East-to-East trade is also increasing with main export partners in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, India and UAE.  Main import partners are US, China, Japan, UAE and Germany.

Q: The Qatari government has set aside $130 billion in investment plans in Qatar by 2016. How will HSBC Qatar take advantage of this boom in spending and projects? How does HSBC Qatar work with local banks and financial institutions?

A: We have been in Qatar for almost 60 years and have built strong and meaningful relationships with the local banking sector. The scale and complexity of the projects being proposed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and under the 2030 National Vision means that working with our local partners is essential – the funding of these projects requires multiple solutions that no one bank can provide. We leverage our international presence and expertise and work with our local partners to provide the right solutions for the projects in the pipeline – be they infrastructure such as roads, sewage, desalination, and power to a rail network, stadiums and hotels.

 

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