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26 February 2024

Commercialbank of Qatar's net rises 22.4%, dividend proposed

By Staff Writer

Commercialbank of Qatar, the largest private sector bank in Qatar, yesterday said its net profit increased 22.4 per cent to 1.7 billion Qatari riyals (Dh1.7bn) in 2008.

The bank's operating income rose 42.5 per cent to QR2.8bn last year from QR1.9bn in the previous year. Net profit was, however, impacted by the global financial crisis and the need to take provision for impairment on the investment portfolio of QR465m in line with international accounting standards, the bank said.

Earnings per share rose to QR8.76 up from QR7.63 in 2007 and the bank proposed dividend of QR7 per share.

The bank's total assets increased by 35 per cent to QR61.3bn, while customer loans grew by 35.5 per cent to QR33.9bn.

Customers' deposits were up 24.9 per cent to QR32.2bn and shareholders' equity rose by QR3.8bn to QR10bn.

Commercial Bank of Qatar's fourth- quarter profit fell 63 per cent.

Net income in the three months to December declined to QR140m from QR381.4m a year earlier, the Doha-based bank said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The bank took an impairment charge of QR262m against its investment portfolio in the quarter.

Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, Chairman of Commercialbank, said: "Despite challenging conditions, the overall strength of our core earnings continued to enable us to generate sustainable dividends for shareholders. The banking sector remains strategically important and integral to the economic development and diversification of Qatar and Commercialbank is committed to remaining at the heart of that development. The bank's strong domestic franchise coupled with the underlying strength of the Qatar economy indicates continuing growth in the years ahead."

The loan portfolio continued to be well diversified. Net provision for loans and advances rose from QR5m in 2007 to QR61m in 2008. The cumulative provision for loans and advances was QR287m at the end of 2008 and represented 99 per cent of non-performing loans. Non-performing loans as a proportion of gross loans increased marginally from 0.83 per cent to 0.85 per cent.

Costs increased 38.8 per cent to QR750m due to growth in the business, particularly in staff-related expenditure, legal and professional fees and inflationary pressures.

Customers' deposits reached QR32.2bn, a 24.9 per cent increase from the end of 2007. The higher level was due to time deposits raised from the government and retail sectors.

The bank said it remains focused on strengthening all of its core businesses and developing synergies.