By Nicolas Parasie
Bureau to help support the sustainable growth of credit in the Gulf country.
Qatar's central bank said on Tuesday it is in the final stages of setting up a credit bureau, the latest effort by regulators in the Gulf to improve transparency and risk management practices.
Credit bureaus collect information on the creditworthiness of clients which they share with member banks.
Borrowing money for years was easy and cheap in the Gulf as liquidity was abundant. But since the onset of the financial crisis, payment defaults have risen and banks have tightened the lid on lending.
In a statement, the central bank said: "The bureau will help to support the sustainable growth of credit in the State of Qatar, relying on customer data and risk-based methodologies."
It added: "It will also provide the bank and the banking sector with analytical data to support the implementation of advanced techniques in risk management."
Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is the Gulf state with some of the strongest economic prospects, with analysts forecasting a 16 percent growth in GDP in 2010. (Reuters)