Qatar National Bank (QNB) will open its first branch in Hong Kong, after gaining regulatory approval from Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
One of the largest financial institutions in the Gulf region, QNB Group explained in a statement that a significant volume of Hong Kong’s trade flows through countries where the bank is present. In addition, Hong Kong acts as the gateway for its clients entering Mainland China and markets across Asia.
“Growth in both Hong Kong and China is expected to continue, driven by trade opportunities, direct investments, and large infrastructure spending opportunities, and the Hong Kong branch offers the opportunity to…capture investment and trade flows in this promising market,” Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa, QNB Group acting CEO, said in the statement.
In addition to commercial banking products, the Hong Kong branch intends to offer wealth management services and securities trading facilities to customers.
QNB was unable to provide further details to FSA about the types of potential clients it intended to target or about staffing levels and senior personnel at the branch.
However, A-Khalif noted that receiving approval to open the Hong Kong branch will “establish a foothold in the highly competitive markets [of China and Hong Kong]”.
QNB Group is 50%-owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, and operates in 31 countries through its subsidiaries and associate companies, including a 82.59% stake in Bank QNB Indonesia, according to its website.
Qatar has faced a two-year economic and diplomatic embargo from several of its Gulf and Middle East neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen, who have accused the emirate of supporting terrorism.