Posted on January 20, 2016

Doha Bank’s Group CEO Dr. R. Seetharaman delivered an engaging lecture on the topic “The Changing Economic Landscape and Opportunities in the Banking Sector” to students at the College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q). The lecture was hosted as part of Doha Bank’s ongoing efforts to engage Qatari students in dynamic discussions that enhance their understanding of economic and financial issues, with a view to develop the next generation of Qatari leaders in banking.

Sharing his insights on global economy Dr. R. Seetharaman said “The Global economy expected to grow by close to 3% in 2015. The decline in growth reflects a further slowdown in emerging markets, partially offset by a modest pickup in activity in advanced economies.US economy rate hike has begun last December however economic recovery is uneven. Japan and Eurozone may still need more easing. Chinese economy grew by 6.9% in 2015. Chinese slowdown a cause of concern to global economies.Brazil and Russia are also struggling, with India only showing growth. Global slowdown on account of struggle to accelerate in emerging economies and advanced economies not recovering soon. There are concerns among market participants both in advanced and emerging economies on the level of market liquidity. The prospect of rising interest rates in the United States and an economic slowdown in China were contributing to uncertainty and a higher risk of economic vulnerability worldwide.“

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on current trends in Global financial markets. He said “Since the beginning of this year we have seen the global capital markets fall significantly on account of Chinse yuan devaluation and fall in oil prices. Oil prices below $30/ barrel has raised concerns of deflation and slowdown in global growth.The Currency markets have also witnessed significant volatility. We are seeing funds moving towards safe haven such as Japanese Yen and US treasuries.The risk of currency war has also emerged on account of Yuan devaluation by Chinese Central Bank.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on GCC economies. He said “GCC economies are expected to witness current account and fiscal deficit this year.Qatar’s 2016 growth is expected to be 4.3%. Qatar has budgeted for revenues of 156 billion riyals and expenditures of 202.5 billion riyals in 2016. Health, education and infrastructure accounted for the largest share of the 2016 budget.The fiscal deficit is expected to be covered by local and international debt issues. Qatar’s strong investable surplus will enable it to withstand adverse conditions.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar Banking Sector. He said “In the near term Qatar Banking Sector will be challenging. However Doha Bank will be cautiously optimistic with focus on Balance Sheet optimization, Cost optimization and repricing of assets. Doha Bank believes in sustainable performance as reflected in its performance ratios such as ROAA and ROAE. With liquidity continuing to be challenging we will focus on low cost deposit mobilization. Doha Bank is a consistent performer despite the volatile market conditions. Doha Bank is an innovative Bank and provides innovative solutions leveraging on technology for the benefit of the customer.”

The lecture was followed by a highly interactive Q&A session that saw enthusiastic participation from the students. Doha Bank has a long history of supporting the education and training of high school, college and university students through scholarship and internship programs, and frequently collaborates with leading educational institutions in the country including CNA-Q. Doha Bank also runs a robust Management Trainee Program that aims at absorbing university graduates and putting them on a fast-track training program. The program focuses on equipping graduates with managerial skills to handle future leadership roles within the Bank.