IPA Qatar and Intesa Sanpaolo sign framework agreement for Middle East business expansion
28 June 2021
The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP), Italy’s largest banking group, which aims to expand the range of corporate and investment banking solutions available to local and international entities operating in Qatar and the region.
In the IPA Qatar’s ongoing ventures to foster strategic partnerships with international stakeholders towards enriching the business landscape in Qatar, the MoU, recently signed by Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, Chief Executive Officer, IPA Qatar, and Mr. Daniele Fanin, General Manager will enable the expansion of the ISP’s presence in Qatar and increase their corporate and investment banking activities in the country. The collaboration entails sizing up ISP’s banking team in Qatar and establishing a local booking centre. This centre will allow the Italian banking group to offer a wider range of products and services to corporations, as well as to a growing numbers of government projects. The MoU also sets the framework for skills development programmes, which aim to nurture local talent in the financial sector and increase the active participation of ISP in the local ecosystem.
Commenting on the occasion, Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, CEO, IPA Qatar, said: “We work closely with the Qatar Financial Centre to attract international financial institutions and support their growth plans. We are also pleased to see our collaboration translate into an increasing presence of renowned banks in Qatar, including Intesa Sanpaolo, which is a testament to the country’s pro-business climate.”
Commenting on the signing of the MoU between IPA Qatar and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP), Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO, QFC, said: “Being the first and largest Italian banking group to launch operations in Qatar through the QFC platform, Intesa Sanpaolo is set to witness enhanced growth through its partnership with IPA Qatar. The direct presence of this prestigious bank has contributed significantly to the expansion and strength of Qatar’s financial services landscape, further solidifying the country’s role as a rising international financial and business hub.”
Al-Jaida added: “Intesa Sanpaolo continues to serve as a successful international investment venture into Qatar, which has been made possible through the unique business infrastructure presented by QFC to all global firms. It is also a testament to the conduciveness of Qatar’s business ecosystem to international investors charting their long-term growth to the region, which is effectively being propelled through developing such partnerships.”
For his part, Mr. Daniele Fanin, General Manager of Intesa Sanpaolo QFC Branch, commented: “The decision, taken few years ago by Intesa Sanpaolo, to open a Branch in the QFC has proven to be right and forward-looking. Notwithstanding the very challenging times represented by the blockade imposed on Qatar from 2017 to 2021 and the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020, the excellent results achieved since 2016 by the Branch have even surpassed our original forecasts. Hence, the plan for the enhancement of our QFC presence is the natural consequence of such solid results and promising basis and we are very happy to join hands with IPA Qatar to achieve this common goal.”
Intesa Sanpaolo is Italy’s largest bank by total assets and one of Europe's best-performing banking groups in 2020, being awarded ‘Bank of the Year in Western Europe’ by The Banker. Leveraging its more than 5,700 branches and international subsidiaries, the Italy-based banking company serves over 13.5 million customers in Italy and 7.1 million customers in Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa through a wide range of retail and commercial banking solutions and services.