The second day of the Qatar Economic Forum began on Tuesday, with acting finance minister Ali Al Kuwari saying the Gulf nation won’t need to return to debt markets any time soon, though it may choose to take advantage of low interest rates.
Speakers for Tuesday’s morning session include Alphabet Inc. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, Swiss Re AG Chairman Sergio Ermotti, billionaire investor Michael Novogratz and Binance Holdings CEO Changpeng Zhao.
The event kicked off on Monday, with billionaire investor Ray Dalio and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers telling the Forum the U.S. is headed for a period of overheating and inflation that could threaten the recovery.
The Qatar Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar and Media City Qatar are underwriters of the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg.
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Google Sees AI Driving Cloud Business (9:00 a.m. Doha)
Google expects artificial intelligence and data analytics to drive opportunities in its cloud business, its chief financial officer said.
“What we’re really excited about is the investments and opportunity in our cloud business,” Ruth Porat said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum. “Our cloud business really is benefiting from extraordinary data analytics, the AI behind that, and then we’ve brought in talents to focus on very industry-specific solutions.”
Porat noted how Google’s cloud business has prioritized targeting financial services and retail to win more business, after being asked what differentiates the company from its competitors such as Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.
Qatar May Sit Out Gulf Debt Binge (7:30 a.m. Doha)
One of the Gulf’s largest and highest-rated borrowers won’t need to return to the debt market any time soon, though it may choose to take advantage of low interest rates.
“The only time we might need financing is just to improve our financial position” like refinancing outstanding debts more cheaply, said Ali Al Kuwari, Qatar’s acting finance minister and the Minister of Commerce and Industry. A rise in global energy prices has helped the tiny country generate a first-quarter surplus of 200 million Qatari riyals ($54 million) as opposed to the 54 billion riyal deficit it had anticipated.
If the situation continues, investors should expect Qatar to tap bond markets “only to be opportunistic,” he said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum that airs in full on Tuesday.
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