Top Qatar bank posts $259m net profit
Manama, July 17, 2009
Commercialbank, the largest private sector bank in Qatar, has registered a net first half profit of 943 million Qatari riyals ($259 million).
This is yet another indication that the region's financial sector is coming out of the global downturn, said a bank official.
'Commercialbank has produced robust first half results underpinned by a solid performance which reflects the bank's strong business fundamentals and prudent policies,' said bank chairman Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Attiyah.
'Qatar's economy remains stable and with continued projected growth, Commercialbank is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities. 'However, global market conditions are expected to remain testing in the second half of the year.'
'Commercialbank's results reflect the resilience of our business model, the strength of our commercial position and our stable financial profile,' said managing director Hussein Alfardan.
'We will retain prime focus on our core business competencies, with continued vigilance in our approach to risk management whilst maintaining a strong capital base and diversified liquidity position.'
Net operating income for the first half of this year increased to QR1.50 billion, up 10 per cent, from QR1.36 billion in the same period last year due to higher net interest income of QR787 million compared with QR517 million.
As part of the government of Qatar's programme of initiatives to support liquidity, continued bank lending and the health of the banking sector, Commercialbank has sold loans and advances and other exposures to the government amounting to QR3.04 billion.
The government paid QR188 million in cash and provided QR2.86 billion in government bonds in consideration for the assets sold. The bank's net provisions for loans and advances and investments increased to QR254 million compared with QR86 million in the first half of this year.
The rise in provisions is largely as a result of factors relating to the global financial crisis and reflects an impairment loss against the investment portfolio of 52m riyals, a higher provision against the retail lending portfolio of 105m riyals and a write-off of 97m riyals on the sale of loans and advances and other exposures from the corporate book.
The net operating profit before provisions rose by 10pc to 1.1bn riyals reflecting the solid operating performance in the first half of this year but, after provisions and the results of associates, the net profit was 943m riyals, 9 per cent, lower than the QR1.04 billion achieved in the first half of last year.