QNB Group, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), has reported an impressive 6% year-on-year growth in net profit to QR10.8bn in the first nine months of this year despite the Turkish lira devaluation. Total assets expanded 8% to QR853bn, mainly owing to a 4% jump in loans and advances to QR604bn, a QNB spokesman said after its board meeting. Customer deposits witnessed a 7% increase to QR615bn.
The growth of the group assets and liabilities has been partly affected by the lira devaluation, he said, adding despite the devaluation impact, QNB’s strong liability management capabilities helped the group improve loans-to-deposits ratio to 98.3% as at the end of September 30, 2018. The group’s drive for operational efficiency is yielding cost-savings in addition to sustainable revenue generating sources, enabling it to improve the efficiency ratio (cost-to-income ratio) to 26%, from 29% last year, which is considered one of the best ratios among large financial institutions in the MEA region.
Robust credit quality is underpinned by non-performing loans ratio of 1.8% at the end of nine-month period ended September 30, 2018, a level considered one of the lowest among financial institutions in the MEA region. The group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning resulted in the coverage ratio at 106% at the end of third quarter ended September 30, 2018. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR), at the end of September 30, 2018, stood at 15.6%, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee.
“Currency headwinds in our core markets had limited impact on the CAR,” the spokesman said. QNB’s successful funding from the international markets during the year includes capital market issuances of $560mn with a five and 10-year maturity in Australia and $720mn bonds with 30-year maturity in Taiwan. “This reflects the group’s success in diversifying funding sources by entering new debt markets, sourcing sustainable long-term funding, extending the maturity profile of funding sources and the trust of international investors in the strong financial position of QNB group and its strategy, the spokesman said.
During the year, global credit rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s revised the outlook to “stable” owing to successful management of the impact from the blockade. QNB also remains the highest-rated bank in Qatar and one of the highest-rated banks in the world from the major rating agencies of Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. QNB Group serves a customer base of more than 23mn customers with more than 29,000 staff operating from more than 1,200 locations and 4,300 ATMs.
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times