DOHA: Qatar has been ranked as the top financial centre in the GCC. The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 15) covering 83 financial centres yesterday showed Qatar’s rating rose by 15 points.
The Index, published by the London-based Z/Yen Group, indicates that Qatar’s top rating was mainly driven by its increasing competitiveness and perceived significance as a financial centre. The index saw the ratings of Bahrain, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in the region also increase. However, Qatar maintained its leading position.
Qatar’s average global assessment is 694 and its ex-regional average is 690, slightly up from 690 and 683 respectively in GFCI 14. All regions except Europe and the Offshore centres have given favourable assessments to Qatar with the Americas being significantly more favourable than the Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific respondents.
Dubai’s overall average assessment is 710 and it ex-regional average is 704, an increase in their respective values from 697 and 690 in GFCI 14. It received favourable assessments from its home region, Asia/Pacific and North America. Europe, the largest respondent group is slightly less favourable than the mean.
“I have moved to Doha recently and highly recommend it as a place to do business in the Middle East”, the report quoted a Doha-based investment banker as saying.
Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of the Z/Yen Group, said: “The immediate story of GFCI 15 is that New York City overtakes London. But that misses the bigger picture as Hong Kong and Singapore continue to gain against both traditional leaders. In the GCC, Qatar, Bahrain, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi all increase their ratings. Yet in Europe, 23 of 27 European centres decline. Financial centre leadership is increasingly uncertain in a world of feeble monetary systems.”
Shashank Srivastava, CEO and Board Member of the QFC Authority, added: “I am delighted that Qatar has again been recognised as the leading financial centre in the GCC. The GFC Index, which is published twice a year, is a highly relevant and recognised indicator reflecting the views and opinions of executives from all over the world. Qatar’s position and rise in the ratings reflects how well the economy is performing, the competitive business environment and the world class legal, regulatory and tax platform the Qatar Financial Centre offers all firms to grow their businesses in Qatar and the broader GCC region.
The biggest gains in the competitive GCC region were seen in Riyadh, which gained 55 points and rose 16 places to 31st. Bahrain, gained 50 points and rose 12 places to 40th. Tel Aviv gained 39 points and rose 11 places to 21st, and Johannesburg, gained 55 points and rose 11 places to 50th. Abu Dhabi also made an impressive gain of 41 points and 10 places to 32nd. Although it gained 18 points, Istanbul declined three places to 47th.