Approval of QFCA Rules

Action: The Qatar Financial Centre Authority ("QFCRA") is approving and enacting the QFCA Rules.

Summary: Article 12 of the QFC Authority Regulations issued under the QFC Law, Law No. (7) of 2005 on the Law for the Qatar Financial Centre ("QFC Law") authorizes the QFCA to make rules to facilitate the pursuit, achievement and furtherance of its objectives or to aid it to implement, carry out or enforce its duties, functions and powers under the QFC Law and Regulations issued thereunder.

The QFCA Rules codify the processes applied in the QFCA licensing process and set forth the continuing compliance obligations of all QFCA licensed firms, and in some cases, the obligations of firms authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority, under Regulations administered by the QFCA. The rules comprise five main parts: 1) Application and Definitions; 2) General Rules; 3) Conduct of Business Rules; 4) Licensed Firm Assets Rules; and 5) Compliance and Enforcement Rules ("CER"). For purposes of clarity, each rule identifies whether its scope is limited to QFCA licensed firms or whether that rule also applies to firms authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority.

Consultation: The QFCA published the QFCA Rules on February 26, 2007 for a thirty day consultation period inviting comment from the international financial and legal community. Three sets of public comments were received from two QFCA Licensed Firms. The commenters noted the need for a consolidated set of definition of terms in the QFCA Rules, and raised questions concerning the impact of Part 5 of the QFCA Rules, CER.

After further consideration of the matter, the QFCA has amended the draft QFCA Rules to consolidate the definition of terms appearing in the QFCA Rules in Part 1, Application and Definitions, and to add additional definitions as requested by the commenters. To provide further clarity a section on the interpretation of terms appearing in the Rules also has been added to Part 1 and the Part is now designated as Application, Interpretation and Definitions. In respect of CER, the QFCA notes that the powers and procedures set forth therein are generally consistent with the comparable provisions set forth in the Financial Services Regulations in respect of the QFC Regulatory Authority. The QFCA sees no basis for applying materially different standards or procedures in this regard. A redlined version of the QFCA Rules identifying the major changes from the consultation version is attached to this Board action.

Recommendation: The QFCA has reviewed the attached Rules, has consulted with the QFC Regulatory Authority, and has determined that the QFCA Rules:

a. are necessary for the establishment and proper functioning of the QFC;
b. contain no matters that are reserved to the Qatar Council of Ministers on which their consent must first be obtained; and
c. are fit for purpose.

In consideration of the foregoing, the Board of the QFCA hereby approves the attached QFCA Rules which are hereby enacted.

For the QFCA Board on 15 May 2007 at the Qatar Financial Centre, Doha, State of Qatar by

Stuart Pearce, Director General and CEO