Exchange houses in Qatar have recorded a year-on-year growth in remittance outflows, ending 2017 on a “positive note,” according to industry sources.
While a slight slowdown in remittance volume was felt in the second half of 2017 following the economic blockade imposed on Qatar in June, support from the Qatar Central Bank “provided stability,” said Al Mana Exchange senior manager Anand P Jakati.
“In the second half of the year, from June to September, the volume of remittance outflow was good, but from October there was a slight slowdown in remittance volume due to dollar liquidity and the QR55,000 restriction per week. Otherwise, the numbers were okay,” he told Gulf Times.
He added: “The Central Bank is doing its best to allot some funds to us; all the exchange houses had experienced issues in liquidity so the Central Bank has allotted funds to each exchange house, and we are managing around the available funds.”
According to Jakati, continuous growth in operations and a robust marketing strategy helped Al Mana Exchange record 15% year-on-year growth in 2017.
Similarly, Trust Exchange had witnessed a 20% to 25% growth in remittance outflow last year. This was mainly due to expansion plans, particularly in new communities in Doha, said general manager KNS Das.
“The first half of 2017 was very good mainly because our branches were strategically-located in prominent areas around the country. There was a change in the development pattern in the city and a lot of new communities have come to the country, so we moved out our exchange houses to reach the people further.
“Accordingly, from 2016 to 2017, new areas have developed and we have opened branches there, which is why we have experienced growth in transactions,” Das pointed out.
This year, both officials expressed optimism in the market despite the ongoing Gulf crisis, which had recently entered its seventh month.
“Even if the same situation continues, the volumes are okay though remittances may experience some delay but otherwise, I feel that in 2018 things would improve because the Qatar Central Bank is doing something and since stability has come to the market, naturally, we will have good days this year,” Jakati stressed.
Das added: “Under normal conditions, same trend will continue in 2018; all major projects are ongoing and expatriates will continue to remit money to their home countries.
“The Qatar Central Bank has provided us excellent support, and all our concerns are being addressed by them, which is why we were able to run the business very smoothly, and we were able to extend remittance services to the community.”