Masraf to allow 49pc foreign ownership
Doha, October 10, 2007
Masraf Al Rayan, a Qatari lender that complies with Islamic law, has received approval from the cabinet to raise the ceiling on foreign investment in its stock.
The bank had applied for permission to allow foreigners to own up to 49 percent of its shares. The ceiling was 39 percent.
The bank yesterday said its third-quarter profit exceeded target on higher-than-expected income from investments and lending.
Net income in the three months to September 30 surged more than 10-fold to 382.5 million riyals ($105.1 million), or 0.51 riyals per share, compared with 36.2 million riyals in the year-earlier period, the bank said in a statement.
Third-quarter profit last year was from investing the proceeds of an initial public offering.
"Qatar is booming and we are taking our share of the market," Mohammed Mursal, general manager for finance told Reuters by telephone from the Qatari capital, Doha.
Revenue from investment in the third-quarter was 329.3 million riyals and from lending 85.9 million riyals, the bank said.
Income from lending of 152.57 million riyals in the nine months to Sept. 30 was almost double the budget, said Mursal.
Income from investments, such as in Islamic bonds and real estate in the Gulf, was almost 50 percent more than expected at 971.9 million riyals during the nine-month period, compared with a budgeted 655 million riyals, Mursal said.
He declined to say by how much third-quarter profit and nine-month profit of 1.05 billion riyals were above budget.
The bank complies with Islamic law or sharia, which bans lending on interest.
Dlala Brokerage & Investment forecast the lender would make a profit of 185.85 million riyals in the third quarter, according to a Reuters survey last month. -Reuters