Luxembourg and Qatar build on shared experiences to innovate and diversify

A financial delegation headed by HRH Prince Guillaume, Crown Prince of Luxembourg, accompanied by HRH Crown Princess Stéphanie, and led by HE Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance, is visiting Qatar today to drive greater strategic cooperation between the two countries in the field of international finance.

The delegation, composed of senior representatives from the Luxembourg financial services sector, takes part in a seminar organized by Luxembourg for Finance in cooperation with the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) at the W Hotel in Doha. The seminar, held for leading figures from Qatar’s financial services industry, will focus on Luxembourg as a diversified financial centre for private and institutional investors from the Middle East, as well as a leading Islamic finance centre in Europe. An additional focus of the seminar will be the FinTech revolution, by which technology is rapidly changing the face of financial services.

Commenting on the delegation’s visit, HE Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance said: “I am delighted to be in Doha to meet with business leaders and financial professionals. Luxembourg has developed a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Qatar. This has led to a number of investments by the state in the Grand Duchy, commencing with the purchase of two Luxembourg banks, KBL and BIL, by a Qatari investor in 2011.”

Luxembourg is particularly well placed to offer investors from the Middle East a platform for international diversification. Specialised in exporting financial services and products across the globe, the Grand Duchy has been catering to the needs of internationally mobile clients and investors who wish to access and operate in different markets.

As one of the world’s leading financial centres Luxembourg offers a wide range of cross-border expertise and services including wealth management, fund distribution, corporate finance, insurance, securities listing, post-trading services and many others. Luxembourg is the second largest investment fund centre in the world after the US. Nine out of the ten largest global private equity houses have a presence in the country. The Luxembourg investment fund industry has had a historic year in 2014 as assets under management in Luxembourg-registered funds have topped EUR 3 trillion.

HE Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance continued: “During recent decades, Luxembourg has clearly demonstrated its ambition to become a major European hub for Islamic finance. We have developed a perfect location for investors who wish to serve Europe’s 20 million strong Muslim community. Like Qatar, Luxembourg understands the importance of innovation and diversification. Together, we wish to multiply future business opportunities and share knowledge for conventional and Islamic finance.”

Luxembourg is today the largest domicile for Islamic funds in Europe, and the third largest domicile for Islamic funds worldwide, after Malaysia and Saudi-Arabia. More than 100 Islamic investment funds have been created in the Luxembourg financial centre.

In addition, the Luxembourg regulatory framework supports a range of shariah compliant structures and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange is a recognized listing centre for international sukuk issues. The Luxembourg government has been fully committed to the development of Islamic finance in Europe, a commitment that it underlined by issuing the first sovereign sukuk denominated in euro in 2014.