With oil prices staying low over the coming years, we believe that the challenging environment will last through 2020 at least,” said Olivier Najar, country risk analyst (Middle East and North Africa region) at BMI Research. “We expect to see a gradual improvement in the situation for Qatari banks over the years, as oil prices recover moderately, but there is no getting back to the boom years of 2003-2012,” said Najar.
"At present, government borrowing is providing some respite for the banks, but this is not sustainable,” he said. Najar said that commercial banks in Qatar would face a more challenging operating environment over the coming years, given the economic slowdown brought about by the slump in hydrocarbon prices. Increasing government borrowing will provide some opportunity for asset expansion until private lending recovers, but this new sector will be less profitable.