Markaz sponsors The Second Qatar Economic Forum

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Markaz sponsors The Second Qatar Economic Forum 20 - May - 2007

Kuwait 19 May, 2007 - Markaz announced its gold sponsorship of The Second Qatar Economic Forum, which will be held under the patronage of HH The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on the 21st and 22nd of May 2007 in Doha – State of Qatar. Qatar is witnessing an phenomenal economic boom along with real estate development due to the rising oil prices and growing natural gas exports. The forum will cover Qatari economy, and Qatar as a financial centre. Topics discussed in the forum will include investment environment, role of the private sector and financing opportunities for the banking sector. Highlighting the significance of the Qatari market, Mr. Manaf Alhajeri, General Manager – Kuwait Financial Centre said "Markaz decided to expand its regional footprint by opening its first regional office in the State of Qatar. Markaz Qatar Branch commenced operations in December 2006". Alhajeri added "Qatar has been one of the fastest growing economies in the region with GDP growth forecasted to exceed 10% in 2007. Qatar is poised to be in the forefront of the economic boom in the GCC over the next decade; large international foreign corporations are setting up business in the country". Mr. Alhajeri will also directly contribute in the forum by being a panellist in the second panel discussion titled "The Investment Environment and Future Role of the Private Sector". The forum is organized for the second consecutive year by Iktissad Wa Aamal Group in close coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce of Qatar. The first forum was held in April 2006, and generated a positive feedback among both governmental and private sectors. Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD. 1.21 billion as of March 31, 2007 was established in 1974, and has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997; and was awarded a BBB+ corporate rating by Capital Intelligence Ltd.