Published: April 21, 2011
The country’s central bank is rewriting the rules on Islamic finance, and conventional banks are being shown the door, writes Mark Dunne.
Last July, Qatar Central Bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani joined a celebratory opening ceremony for HSBC’s first Qatari branch dedicated to Islamic finance. The event was intended to show HSBC’s commitment to the Islamic market. But seven months later, Saud Al-Thani could prove instrumental in an unceremonious closing of the branch – as well as posing a threat to any other Islamic bank operated by a non-Islamic institution.