Commercial Bank net profit grows by 6.4% to QR431m

The Commercial Bank, its subsidiaries and associates reported a net profit of QR431m for the first quarter of 2019, up 6.4 percent as compared to QR405m posted for the same period in 2018.

The bank’s operating profit rose by 2.1 percent to QR62m and cost to income ratio reduced to 30.9 percent from 33.9 percent.

Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Commercial Bank, said, “In 2018 Qatar’s GDP increased by 2.4 percent and the IMF forecasts a growth of 3.1 percnet for 2019. The country’s leadership has prioritised economic transformation and continues to invest heavily in strengthening Qatar’s knowledge-based economy to secure the nation’s long-term financial future.

“Markets have responded positively to this, and in the first quarter of 2019, Qatar successfully raised $12bn from the bond markets, a clear indication of the confidence that international investors have in the Qatari economy.

“Commercial Bank is privileged to play a part in Qatar’s ambitious transformation agenda. As one of the leading financial institutions in the country, with deep rooted ties to the business community, we are committed to leveraging our expertise to support Qatar on its economic journey.” Hussain Alfardan, Commercial Bank’s Vice Chairman, added, “In the first quarter of 2019 we continued with the implementation of our five-year strategic plan and strategic focus on Client Experience and Transaction Banking, with our successes recognised by renowned awarding bodies.’’

Net interest income for the Group reduced by 11.8 percent to QR 581m for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 compared to QR659m achieved in the same period in 2018. Net interest margin declined marginally to 2.0 percent for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 compared to 2.1 percent achieved in 2018. The reduction in margins is mainly due to the increase in cost of funding in Turkey, although margins have been managed through active loan book re-pricing and diversifying liquidity sources to minimize the increasing cost of funding.

Non-interest income for the Group increased by 22.7 percent to QR319m for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 compared with QR260m. The overall increase in non-interest income was mainly due to Increase in foreign exchange gains.

Total operating expenses were tightly managed at a Group level, down by 10.6 percent to QR 278m compared with QR311m in Q1, 2018. Costs reductions were primarily driven by lower staff and administrative expenses.

The Group’s net provisions for loans and advances decreased by 6.8 percent to QR207m from QR222mThe non-performing loan (NPL) ratio has remained stable at 5.6 percent.

The loan coverage ratio has increased to 80.3 percent.

The Group balance sheet has increased by 6.6 percent for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 with total assets at QR143.8bn, compared to QR134.9bn. The increase was mainly in balances with banks and loans and advances.

The Group’s loans and advances to customers increased by 1.8 percent to QR85.2bn in Q1 2019 compared with QR83.7bn. The increase was mainly in the government and services sectors.

The Group’s investment securities increased by 13.2 percent to QR22.9bnin Q1 2019 compared with QR20.2bn in Q1 2018. The increase is mainly in Government bonds.

Joseph Abraham, Commercial Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Commercial Bank made a good start to the year, maintaining the positive momentum from 2018. Consolidated operating profit was QR621m for the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 2.1 percent compared to the same period last year and consolidated net profit was QR 431m in Q1 2019 an increase of 6.4 percent compared to the same period in 2018.’’

The Domestic Bank reported net profit of QR399m in Q1 2019, an increase of 12.1 percent compared to the same period last year. The improvement was largely driven by a reduction in net provisioning which decreased 20.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Source from: The Peninsula