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QNB planning to expand its global reach.

HE al-Emadi and other QNB directors at the bank's ordinary and extraordinary general meetings at the Ritz Carlton on Sunday. Picture: Ram Chand Santhosh V. Perumal

*QNB's domestic expansion plan focuses on PPP initiatives in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

QNB, which aims to be a leading lender in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia by 2020, is expanding its global reach, particularly its wholesale and commercial banking, in view of robust growth expected in the Gulf, Asia and Europe regions.

Moreover, it will continue to invest its fast growing domestic market, in anticipation of a spurt in the public private partnership (PPP) initiatives this year, amid opportunities galore with FIFA World Cup deadline approaching fast.

"Globally, the macroeconomic growth has been broadly supportive for QNB Group," its chairman and Minister of Finance HE Ali Shareef Al-Emadi told shareholders at the general assembly meeting, which approved 60% cash dividend and the proposal to split stocks in 1:10 ratio.

QNB's acting chief executive Abdulla Mubarak al-Khalifa said looking into 2019 and beyond, it will continue to invest in its flourishing domestic business to maintain a market-leading position, while simultaneously growing its global network to "uncover more opportunities" for further diversifying business sources. The international business contributes about 37% of the group's net profit.

"We plan to continue the expansion and diversification of our revenues to reduce concentration risk and drive greater earnings," QNB said, adding its capital strength allows it to grow balance sheet in a controlled way and take opportunities within, across and beyond its network.

On its wholesale and commercial banking operations, especially regarding structured finance, QNB revealed that its plan this year is to "capitalise on our expertise and reach to capture further international business on the back of the expected economic growth in the Gulf Co-operation Council, Asia, Europe and our other network markets."

On the domestic front, it will continue to support the economic development and the national projects.

Highlighting that the lifting of moratorium on the North Field development will rekindle the expansion of hydrocarbons; QNB said it will require huge investments, both onshore and offshore, including the construction of three new liquefied natural gas trains.

"Beyond the direct impact on non-hydrocarbon gross domestic product, this new investment phase, which should begin from 2020 onwards, will generate substantial multiplier effects for the wider economy," it said, adding over the next few years; power, steel and construction are especially expected to benefit from this expansion.

On the PPP, QNB Capital, the investment banking of the group, expects new tourist attractions and several iconic infrastructure projects to attract attention from investors seeking to work with the government to further support the country in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and for the future.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:90SOU
Date:Feb 10, 2019
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