(Corrects spelling OF CEO's name in 6th para, clarifies date
QFC firms will start relocating)
DOHA, Sept 20 The Qatar Financial Center, which
licenses foreign companies to exempt them from the Gulf state's
local ownership laws, will move to a new complex next year
shared with non-licensed foreign and local firms, its head said
The QFC is one of two authorities under which 100 percent
foreign owned companies can operate in Qatar. Without licenses
from these entities, foreign firms typically require a local
partner to own at least a 51-percent stake.
Yousef al-Jaida, CEO of the Qatar Financial Center, said
QFC-licensed firms would start relocating from mid-2017 to
Msheireb Downtown Doha.
"Unlike other financial zones in the region, this new
financial city will be open to all businesses, local and
international, and will not be exclusively restricted to QFC
licensed firms," QFC said in a statement.
The QFC said Qatar's foreign ownership rules will not
Jaida said the relocation was "to support Qatar in its
efforts to diversify national income sources by facilitating the
incorporation of new companies in a competitive business
environment and helping local companies expand."
The QFC, currently located in Doha's West Bay financial
district, has around 300 firms registered, including
international banks such as Citigroup and Deutsche Bank
. Firms are covered by QFC's own regulatory authority.
Msheireb is 6km (4 miles) away from West Bay, and is
situated closer to the international airport and government
The world's top LNG exporter and one of the richest
countries per capita in the world, is also trying to mitigate a
projected 46.5 billion riyal ($12.8 billion) budget deficit for
Qatar has also sought to boost other areas of its economy to
mitigate the shortfall. In June, a draft law was approved by
Qatar's cabinet setting up three special economic zones that
will allow for 100 percent overseas ownership.
(Reporting by Tom Finn; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)