QFIB reaches out to Saudi shareholders

Updated 06 March 2013
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QFIB reaches out to Saudi shareholders

The Saudi economy is expected to register a growth of between 4 percent and 4.4 percent in 2013 on the back of high oil prices and government spending.
This was indicated during a meeting of the board of directors of Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) in Dammam on Sunday. The meeting took note of the fact that Saudi Arabia has set a record state budget valued at $ 218.7 billion to stimulate and enhance the non-hydrocarbon sectors including construction, health care, education and financial services.
The QFIB board meeting was chaired by Abdullah Fahad Ghorab Al-Marri and included leading Saudi businessman and QFIB Vice Chairman Ibrahim Mohamed Al-Jomaih and QFIB CEO Emad Mansour.
Prominent Saudi businessmen and CEOs of top companies were invited to a business meeting at the Dammam Sheraton after the board confab.
QFIB is the first independent Shariah-compliant bank regulated by Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority.
The meeting in Dammam was part of the bank's scheduled board meetings that is held every year in a different Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country in order to reach out to the its diversified base of shareholders.
"Saudi Arabia is an important market for us. It has a steady and stable economy. We like to join competitive markets to help us thrive and expand our business," Al-Marri told Arab News.
According to Al-Marri, Dammam is important because of its close proximity to Dhahran which houses the world's leading oil and gas company Saudi Aramco. "QFIB takes a special interest in the oil and gas sector as it is the backbone of the GCC economies," said Al-Marri. "To date, QFIB has invested over 400 million Qatari riyals in this vibrant sector."
He reiterated that Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil-producing country with a production of 11,150,000 barrels/day contributing around 12.9 percent of the world's total oil production. Moreover, it has 20 percent of the world's oil reserves standing at 265 billion barrels which puts the Kingdom at top of the world's oil-exporting countries.
Al-Jomaih told Arab News that the Saudi market has a very positive outlook. "We hope this meeting will bring QFIB closer to potential investors in Saudi Arabia," he said. "Our role as board members is to support the management in promoting the bank."
Al-Marri underlined great opportunities in the real estate sector in the Eastern Province. The focus of businesses will be on this region because of its closeness to Qatar.
"Since Qatar will host the landmark World Cup 2022, it will require large-scale projects. Qatari companies alone cannot carry out these large-scale projects. Saudi companies will have to join and some of the Saudi companies have already won many of these large-scale projects in different fields," said Al-Marri.


US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

Updated 23 June 2018
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US unveils new veto threat against WTO rulings

  • US tells WTO appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days
  • Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatens to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars

GENEVA: The United States ramped up its challenge to the global trading system on Friday, telling the World Trade Organization that appeals rulings in trade disputes could be vetoed if they took longer than the allowed 90 days.
The statement by US Ambassador Dennis Shea threatened to erode a key element of trade enforcement at the 23-year-old WTO: binding dispute settlement, which is widely seen as a major bulwark against protectionism.
It came as US President Donald Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatened to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars, the latest in an unprecedented campaign of threats and tariffs to punish US trading partners.
Shea told the WTO’s dispute settlement body that rulings by the WTO’s Appellate Body, effectively the supreme court of world trade, were invalid if they took too long. Rulings would no longer be governed by “reverse consensus,” whereby they are blocked only if all WTO members oppose them.
“The consequence of the Appellate Body choosing to breach (WTO dispute) rules and issue a report after the 90-day deadline would be that this report no longer qualifies as an Appellate Body report for purposes of the exceptional negative consensus adoption procedure,” Shea said, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Reuters.
An official who attended the meeting said other WTO members agreed that the Appellate Body should stick to the rules, but none supported Shea’s view that late rulings could be vetoed, and many expressed concern about his remarks.
Rulings are routinely late because, the WTO says, disputes are abundant and complex. Things have slowed further because Trump is blocking new judicial appointments, increasing the remaining judges’ already bulging workload.
At Friday’s meeting the United States maintained its opposition to the appointment of judges, effectively signalling a veto of one judge hoping for reappointment to the seven-seat bench in September.
Without him, the Appellate Body will only have three judges, the minimum required for every dispute, putting the system at severe risk of breakdown if any of the three judges cannot work on a case for legal or other reasons.
“Left unaddressed, these challenges can cripple, paralyze, or even extinguish the system,” chief judge Ujal Singh Bhatia said.
Sixty-six WTO member states are backing a petition that asks the United States to allow appointments to go ahead. On Friday, US ally Japan endorsed the petition for the first time, meaning that all the major users of the dispute system were united in opposition to Trump.