Doha, - The annual report of Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) for 2015 showed on Saturday its excellent performance and the development of Qatari financial markets in general despite the challenges and crisis in the international capital markets, in addition to the oil price decline as well as the geopolitical crisis that have occurred in the Middle East during 2015.

HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of QFMA Board of Directors, said QFMA was able to maintain international ratings for its local markets during 2015, even advancing in some ranking, whether at the international or regional level.

This progress is due to the QFMA's adoption of a strategic vision based on the key principles and pillars of the Qatar National vision 2030 and the implementation of an operational plan that achieved these objectives and attributed to retaining the Qatari capital market as a completive regional market, he said.

The Qatari financial markets achieved 1st rank among its Arab peers and 13th at the international level in terms of financial markets development according to the 2015-2016 Global Competiveness Report, he added.

While in terms of market capitalization, the Qatari capital market maintained its 2nd place at the Arab country level and the 12 th across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to the statistics of the World Federation of Exchanges.

HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani said in spite of all achievements during 2015, the QFMA is aware that for the continued progress and development of the Qatari Capital Markets and its eminent contribution to Qatar's economic stability and growth, many more steps must continue to be taken with dedication and hard work.

For his part, Nasser Ahmed Al Shaibi, CEO of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, said QFMA's achievements of the past year are a practical translation of the objectives behind the establishment of the QFMA within its duties and responsibilities that have set the regulatory framework for the operations, supervision and overview of the financial markets to ensure right protection of all entities and individuals within upholding the principles of equality, transparency, and disclosure to further strengthen the development of the national economy and support the clear vision of the wise leadership of the State.

The QFMA, since its establishment, has developed many concepts and principles that constitute the set of procedures taken into account for achieving an efficient and effective system of financial supervision, that in turn, increased the scope of disclosures and transparency as one of the most important principles of financial markets in achieving its highest performance levels, and developing legislations regulating this sector, as well as improving the working environment for protecting the interests of all relevant parties, based on modern and advanced regulatory foundations in line with international practices, he added.

The year 2015 witnessed many accomplishments that have contributed to the achievement of the QFMA's general strategy objectives aimed at maintaining confidence in the financial markets operating systems, protecting investors and those who deal in securities in Qatar to ensure stability of the Qatari financial markets, and reducing risk exposure, Al Shaibi explained.

The QFMA has persisted in developing awareness plans and programs to actively engage and encourage investment in securities as one of the most important tributaries of economic development, he said, adding that QFMA has also entrusted tasks into action based on conviction of its sublime objectives through permanent and ongoing supervision of all parties subject to its jurisdiction.

The QFMA complimented its efforts by creating constructive cooperation frameworks and exchange of information with various authorities by signing bilateral Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), he added.

It also sought to provide the necessary resources to develop qualified technical human capital, which in turn, will ensure the application and development of best international standards within the capital market sector, said Al Shaibi.

The QFMA also worked on further enhancing its contribution within the local capital market sector, by providing all aspects of support to initiatives that aim to develop the market and increase investors' awareness in accordance with a comprehensive plan that includes small shareholders as well.

This contribution lead the Qatari market to occupy the highest positive international credit rating and ranks in the field of anti-corruption, transparency and economic freedom, Al Shaibi concluded.

The annual report of Qatar Financial Markets Authority for 2015 contained an overview of the Qatari economy and its international classifications.

Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) was established under Law No. 33 of 2005 as an independent regulatory authority to supervise the financial markets and firms that are authorized to conduct activities related to securities in or from the State of Qatar, and empowered to exercise regulatory oversight and enforcement over the capital markets.

Recently, the QFMA new law No. 8 of 2012 has been issued to give the QFMA wider responsibilities and obligations to supervise and monitor the securities industry in the state of Qatar and increase the scope of international cooperation.

In pursuant of its objectives, the QFMA has been enhancing its regulatory infrastructure, based on internationally recognized best practices and standards for the capital markets to create a world-class capital market in the State of Qatar enabling it to top a leading position in the region through focusing on four strategic pillars that are (1) protect investors, (2) ensure fair and efficient financial markets, (3) enhance transparency, proficiency as well as awareness and markets integrity, and (4) constrict misleading information and deceptive conduct affecting financial products and services.

Source: Qatar News Agency