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Steady quarterly net profit growth at Qatar National Bank in 2015.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender in the Arabian Gulf region, has continued to exceed

analysts' profitability expectations going forward in 2015, despite a generally deteriorating

economic climate.

The year began with a 10.1 per cent increase in Q1 net profit, boosted by an 8.9 per cent increase

in lending activity, the latter hitting a total of 345 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 94.7 billion) by

the end of March. QNB reported a 2.7 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 741.5 million) NP over the

period, compared with 2.4 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 659 million) in the same period a year


Indeed Q1 represented the second successive quarter of loan growth at QNB, which while well below

the soaring 20 per cent levels enjoyed in 2013 and early 2014, indicated that the bank was weathering

a stormy downturn in Qatar's bank credit growth, at its lowest level since February 2007.

Inevitably, the bank, which is 50 per cent owned by a state entity, the sovereign wealth fund Qatar

Investment Authority, is exceptionally dependent on the public sector as far as the substance of

its lending book is concerned. For example, the tranches of lending required in the funding of

infrastructure projects necessary to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup have now dwindled.

However, in the second quarter, QNB once again beat analysts' projections as the bank posted a

9.8 per cent increase in net profit to 2.9 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 796.4 million), compared

with 2.64 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 725 million) in the corresponding period of last year,

Taken in a half year context, net profit was up 10.2 per cent to 5.6 billion (US$ 1.54 billion)

Qatari Riyals, from 5.1 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in the same six months of 2014.

Meanwhile, an analysts' poll commissioned by Reuters produced an average third-quarter forecast

that QNB would make a quarterly net profit of 2.94 billion Qatari Riyals (US$ 807.4 million), which

the institution believes it can beat.

QNB's objective is to become the largest bank in the Middle East and Africa by 2017. The

bank, already holds a 23.5 per cent stake in the pan-African lender Ecobank Transnational Inc with

banking operations in 36 African countries, and has been seeking to extend its international

footprint for a number of years. A preliminary initiative to acquire the Malaysian unit of Kuwait

Finance House failed to realise any kind of deal, and the lender has also been linked with

National Bank of Greece's Turkish unit, Finansbank.

Copyright [c] Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( ).

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Aug 5, 2015
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