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Masraf Q3 profit jumps 43pc

Doha, October 19, 2010

Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar's fourth-biggest lender by market value, saw net profit jump 43 per cent in the third quarter, driven by a rise in its customer base as the lender expands its branch network.

Third-quarter net profit rose to QR306.5 million ($84.3 million) from QR214 million in the same period a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations.

'This growth has been driven by the bank's rapidly-expanding customer base,' chief executive Adel Mustafawi said in a statement.

Net profit in the nine months to end-September rose 52 per cent to QR911.5 million, the bank said in the statement.

Masraf Al Rayan posted a first-half net profit of QR605 million.

Profit increase in the third-quarter was driven by core banking activities, not investments, Mustafawi told Reuters in a phone interview.

'We are expecting the same growth in the fourth-quarter in terms of assets. We are finalising a few deals now and that will be reflected in the fourth-quarter results. We are still focused on growing organically. We like the UAE, Qatar, Saudi, and Oman,' he said.

When asked if the company is arranging any sukuk or initial public offerings he said: 'Demand in the equity market has recovered, especially in Qatar. We are going to be looking at this because appetite is there, mainly in Qatar.'

In March, Qatar's central bank said banks would be allowed to diversify their revenue base and bolster trading income by buying shares of listed companies on the bourse and re-entering brokerage operations.

Masraf Al Rayan said in March it had launched a Gulf-wide fund to manage up to $1.1 billion and focus on Gulf equities, as well as fixed-income instruments.

Markets closed before the lender announced its financial results, its shares ending unchanged from the previous day at QR15.90. – Reuters




Tags: Qatar | Doha | Masraf | Net Profit | Third quarter |

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