Commercial Bank Qatar Q4 net rises
Doha, January 19, 2010
Commercial Bank of Qatar reported a 33 percent rise in fourth quarter net profit, despite taking a 170 million riyal hit related to a corporate default, which the lender intends to recover.
Qatar's third-largest bank by market value posted a net profit of 186 million riyals in the fourth quarter from 140 million riyals in the same period in 2008.
The bank's earnings missed analysts' profit forecasts of 333 million riyals.
Net profit for the full year amounted to 1.5 billion riyals, a decrease of 12 percent from 1.7 billion riyals of the year before, and the bank said it would propose a 6 riyals dividend per share, compared to 7 riyals in the previous year.
'The bank never faced as many challenges as it did over the last 12 months. We've taken provisions against both the lending portfolios and the investment book...in lending we've seen one large corporate failure of 170 million,' chief executive officer Andrew Stevens told Reuters by telephone from Doha.
Stevens declined to identify the company, but said it was based in Qatar.
The bank had already warned that it would set aside 50 million riyals against a corporate default and now raised that provision to 170 million riyals.
The bank will pursue the recovery of losses stemming from the 170 million riyals default, Stevens said.
'We will exercise every available opportunity to recover that money. If that means through legal recourse we will take that, if it means taking assets we will do that. I remain optimistic that we will make the recovery at some point,' he said.
Most Qatar banks have benefited from a lack of significant exposure to two troubled Saudi conglomerates and Dubai World's debt troubles, as well as from government measures to shore up the state's banking sector. -Reuters
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