QNB says no bond sale this year
Dubai, July 8, 2010
Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf state's largest lender by market capitalisation, does not plan a bond sale this year as it balance sheet remains 'extremely liquid', its chief executive said on Thursday.
'I don't expect anything at this stage. If you look at our balance sheet, we are extremely liquid. Some say too liquid, but that's the way we like it,' QNB's chief executive Ali Al Emadi told reporters at a press conference in Doha.
The bank, majority-owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), also plans to increase its ownership stake in its Syrian unit, QNB Syria, to 55 per cent from the current 49 per cent, the CEO said.
QNB will raise the Syrian unit's share capital by $200 million to $300 million as part of the ownership increase.
On Tuesday, QNB posted a 35.4 per cent jump in second-quarter profit, beating market forecasts, as loans and customer deposits grew.
Emadi said the bank will continue to expand its operations in Qatar, both in the conventional and Islamic space. The lender also plans to increase number of branches in Syria to 15 from three.
In Sudan, where QNB has one branch, it plans to set up another four branches and in Oman the bank is planning to increase number to four. It has one branch in Oman currently.
In June, the central bank issued bonds worth QR10 billion to local banks with a coupon of 6.5 per cent and an eight-year maturity in a move seen as an attempt to mop up excess liquidity.-Reuters