24/06/2018 08:35 AST

Fitch Ratings has upgraded the outlook of Doha Bank from negative to stable and affirmed the long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘A’, it was announced in a statement.

“The upgrade to stable follows the revision of the Qatari sovereign’s outlook to stable from negative and affirmation of the country’s long-term IDR at ‘AA-‘, and reflects Fitch’s view that Qatar has successfully managed the fallout from last year’s rupture of trade, financial, and diplomatic relations with the quartet consisting of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt,” the statement said.

It added, “Public sector liquidity injections have stabilised the banking sector and stemmed the outflow of non-domestic funding. The fiscal deficit has narrowed sharply and we expect it to turn into a surplus in 2019. The economy has reconfigured its supply chains and continues to grow at a robust pace. There has been no escalation of measures against Qatar.”

Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman said, “Fitch ratings recognised support of Qatari authorities for banking system in Qatar. The government has demonstrated a strong commitment to its banks and key public sector companies, which has been reaffirmed during this crisis. Qatar had shown buoyancy in the times of crises and this upgrade was testament of its fundamental strength.”

He added, “In response to the economic blockade, Qatar has emerged strong and has brought various reforms to transform itself into a self-reliant economy. Some of these reforms include landmark residency bill, relaxing entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries and enhancing food security.

“Qatar will also raise LNG production by 30% to 100mtpa within five to seven years after lifting a moratorium on gas development earlier in 2017. Qatar has been ranked 25th in ‘the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-18.”

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