09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 04:02
Qatar Central Bank (QCB) published the forty-fourth Annual Report for the year 2020.
The report discusses the most important macroeconomic and financial developments during the year.
The report also provides the annual financial statement of QCB and important policy measures taken
by QCB during 2020.
During 2020, the Qatari economy contracted due to the emergence and global spread of the Covid-
19 epidemic, as the decline in global demand for energy and the decline in average energy prices
negatively affected the output of the oil sector, while the economic closure negatively affected the
non-oil sector; This eventually leads to a decline in the nominal GDP for the year 2020. This has
been reflected in the internal and external balances; The State budget recorded a financial deficit as
a result of the decline in demand and energy prices despite the reduction in expenditures, and the
current account in the balance of payments recorded a deficit as a result of the merchandise trade
surplus shrinking significantly. However, the Qatar Central Bank accumulated foreign exchange
reserves during the year as a result of the strong net inflow of capital witnessed by the capital and
financial account in the balance of payments.
QCB continued to pursue its mandated monetary policy objective of maintaining a pegged currency
while ensuring a stable
systemic liquidity. At the same time, measures were taken to ensure
comfortable systemic liquidity to facilitate adequate credit flows to productive sectors, and in
response to the interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, QCB cut all its policy rates twice in
March 2020, QCB also introduced a special repo at zero rate.
Fresh currencies were introduced and issued in December, leading to significant growth in the value
of currency. On payment and settlement systems, with sharp increase in demand for electronic
payment due to the pandemic, QCB launched a new retail payment system, 'Qatar Mobile Payment
System' (QMP) in April 2020 to provide instant clearing and 24 hours settlement of payments and
money transfers. And to increase financial inclusion, banks were advised to provide bank accounts
to domestic workers without minimum balance requirements.