Qatar National Bank reports huge profit growth …

The QNB Group’s prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio of 21.7%, which is considered one of the best among financial institutions in the region. Gulf Times Report…

QNB Group, a leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa, has reported a 10% jump in its net profit to QR2.7bn in the first three months of this year on higher interest and non-interest earnings as well as robust gains from foreign exchange.

Corporate banking contributed QR1.8bn or 67% to net profit, asset and wealth management QR115.87mn or 4% and international banking QR763.21mn or 28% during the first quarter, according to its financial statement.

Net interest income rose 7% to QR3.2bn, net fee and commission income by 12% to QR0.6bn and net gain on foreign exchange by 16% to QR0.21bn, thus translating as a healthy 7% jump in operating income to QR4bn.

The group’s prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio (cost-to-income ratio) of 21.7%, which is considered one of the best among financial institutions in the region.

Total assets rose 9% to QR502bn, the highest-ever achieved by the group, owing to a strong 9% growth in loans and advances to QR345bn.
Corporate banking assets stood at QR323.79bn or 65%, consumer banking QR23.13bn or 5%, asset and wealth management QR46.03bn or 9% and international banking QR213.43bn or 43%.

The group was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.5%, a level considered one of the lowest amongst banks in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting the high quality of its loan book and the effective management of credit risk.

The QNB group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning continued with the coverage ratio reaching 129% in March 2015. The lender increased customer funding by 7% to QR369bn, leading to the group’s loan-to-deposit ratio reach 94%.

Total equity increased 6% to QR54bn as on March 31, 2015. Earnings-per-share reached QR3.8 compared to QR3.5 in March 2014. Capital adequacy ratio, calculated as per the Qatar Central Bank and the Basel III requirements, stood at 15.1% at the end of first quarter ended March 31, 2015, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements.

“The group is keen to maintain a strong capitalisation in order to support future strategic plans,” a bank spokesman said. During March 2015, credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded QNB group to ‘AA-/F1+’ on the back of the strength of Qatar’s sovereign rating.

QNB has maintained its credit rating from all other rating agencies and is considered one of the highest in the region due to its strong financial position, high quality of assets and leading position in the financial sector.

QNB group is present, through its subsidiaries and associate companies, in more than 27 countries and three continents providing a comprehensive range of products and services. The total number of staff is over 14,700 operating from over 630 locations and with an ATM network of more than 1,320 machines.