Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani

#Qatar central bank backs three-way Islamic bank #merger

Qatar’s central bank hopes the planned merger between three local Islamic banks can proceed this year. Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar have been discussing a merger, though they missed the target date to complete the proposed deal. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar last June. Qatar accused them of trying to sabotage its financial markets and manipulate its currency. Sheikh Abdullah said that since the embargo started, the central bank had been meeting regularly with executives of banks to ensure daily control of liquidity levels and financial transfers. He added that Qatar plans to issue roughly the same amount of riyal debt in 2018 as it did in 2017, when it issued 47.5 billion riyals ($12.3 billion). That included 18.5 billion riyals of bonds and 15.4 billion riyals of sukuk.

IFSB seeks provision of regulations for financial agencies

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) seeks to offer rules and regulations to organize work of Islamic banks and financial institutions.It has been providing a number of organizational and supervisory criteria for auditors, central banks, takaful companies or insurance firms. Qatar Central Bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani is chairman of the IFSB Board. IFSB's sukuk issuance program was granted A1 rating by Standard and Poors, paving way sukuk issuance for second quarter this year.

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