Commercial Bank Group Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Abraham said yesterday that Turkey and Oman will continue to remain as the strategic markets of the bank. As Qatar continues to diversify its strategic foreign investments, Commercial Bank will keep on playing bigger roles in these key markets.
In terms of Commercial Bank’s international operations, Turkey and Oman remain key strategic markets through its subsidiary Alternatif Bank and partner National Bank of Oman. Abraham pointed to the investment in Alternatif Bank’s new headquarters and its rebrand in 2018 as evidence of the Bank’s continuing commitment to Turkey.
Attending the bank’s annual roundtable yesterday, a day after it announced a significant 175.5% growth in the Group’s net profit, the GCEO said the bank’s five year strategic plan has been key to its strong financial performance in 2018. “We are on track to deliver our five year strategic plan ,” the Group CEO said.
“We continued investment in our subsidiary Alternatif Bank. Of late, the bank has been re-branded and the investment till date stands at $1bn…..Turkey is very important for Qatar and we see a huge opportunities in terms of Qatar’s investment in Turkey. It is more important that Qatar recently announced $15bn foreign direct investment in Turkey. We can be a part of this”.
On Qatar’s increasing presence in South East Asian countries and Commercial Bank’s interests in these economies, Joseph said Commercial Bank is already participating in the investments in some countries in the region, including South Korea and China as an intermediary. “As Qatar continues to diversify its international trading and investment relations, Commercial Bank will be a part of it,” he said.
Citing official data, Joseph said Qatar will be largely immune to the projected global slowdown perception. “We see Qatar outlook very positive. The impact of blockade is gone. The country’s GDP is projected to grow by over 3 percent. The country has a surplus budget. The underlying demand for gas is very strong. The budget for the current fiscal has set aside $45bn for infrastructure projects. All these will lead to improvement in the overall economic growth in Qatar.”
The Group CEO said: “Our latest financial results are evidence of the successful execution of our five-year strategic plan and we will continue to deliver against our plan in 2019, with an increased focus on innovation. Creativity and innovation is one of our five Cs, but its importance feeds into our other Cs too. Through creativity and innovation, we can improve the client experience and foster a culture of excellence. All of this has an impact on our corporate earnings quality, helping us to grow as a Bank.
“In Transaction Banking for example, we see great potential in the market for innovative services. Because of our commitment to applying digital technology to improve the customer experience, we believe that we can bring enhanced products and services to the Transaction Banking market in Qatar.”
Rehan Khan, CFO of Commercial Bank explained that the Bank’s net profit increase by more than QR1bn in 2018 was driven by lower credit provisioning and lower operating expenses.
The bank’s cost of risks is down from just over 200 bps to just over 100bps. “This is what we had indicated to the market from the start of 2018 that we were targeting and we have achieved it”, Rehan said.
Hussein Ali Al Abdulla, EGM, Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Commercial Bank posted a strong set of results in 2018. The increase in net profit was driven by the reduction in loan provisioning compared to the previous year. Operating profit was supported by a strong focus on efficiency, with the benefits of digitization also flowing through to the income statement. Consequently, our cost to income ratio is 33.4 percent for 2018 compared to 37.5 percent for last year. We look forward to continuing the success we achieved in 2018 into this year.”
Source from: The Peninsula