HSBC Middle East launched its 12th ATM in Qatar at the new commercial Loulou (Pearl) Center. Steve Natel, Personal Banking Services Manager, stated that Loulou Center was selected for its accessible location and because of the availability of many parking spaces, Al-Raya Daily reported. He added that HSBC plans this year to expand the ATM network by establishing automated teller machines in various appropriate locations. HSBC ATM accepts cards of all companies such as Global Access, Visa, and MasterCard.
At a special press conference, HSBC representatives announced that Matthew Smith would be appointed as the incumbent HSBC Qatar Executive Manager, replacing Chris Meares. Mr. Smith boasts vast experience in the banking sector, having worked in HSBC offices in Bahrain, Brunei, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Oman and the UK.
Mr. Meares spent the last three years in Qatar. In his farewell speech, he disclosed that "HSBC Qatar posted in 1999 an 11 percent rise in pre-tax profits...despite the difficult global economic conditions."
The pre-tax profits of HSBC Qatar totaled QR73.6 million in 1999. According to Mr. Meares, HSBC supports the Qatari economy with an average of QR25 million in taxes transferred to the Treasury. He also mentioned that HSBC invested QR36 million in constructing its new building in Qatar. (QR3.64=$1)