Revealed: Qatar’s biggest banks

The GCC state’s top listed banks, as ranked by total asset size



The GCC banking sector recorded lower returns in 2016, but there was great variation, with some banks seeing declining asset bases and a number of banks still recording growth, according to Gulf Business‘ annual Top 50 banks in the GCC report.

The top 50 banks in the region recorded total asset growth of 6.6 per cent in 2016 to $1.9 trillion, similar to 6.8 per cent growth in 2015.

The highest growth rate was seen in the Qatari banking sector, with assets rising by 20 per cent in 2016.

The country’s banking sector was supported by strong loan demand – particularly from government entities – despite the fall in energy prices. Qatar is well positioned to withstand low oil prices thanks to a low fiscal breakeven oil price, the accumulation of significant past savings and low public debt.

Growth is underpinned by large government infrastructure projects, which also draw in workers, further boosting aggregate demand. Public sector spending is backed by several developmental initiatives taken by the government prior to the FIFA World Cup 2020. Among Qatar-based banks, Qatar National Bank (QNB) registered growth in lending of 25 per cent in 2016. Qatar Islamic Bank also recorded good growth.

QNB also remained the largest bank in the GCC by assets, capital and net profit in 2016. Its assets grew by 34 per cent to $198bn last year. The lender also completed the acquisition of Turkey’s Finansbank, the fifth largest privately owned bank in Turkey. QNB paid $3bn in cash for Finansbank and the move underlines its strategy of expansion in the Middle East and Africa as well as in associated markets such as Turkey.

The transaction follows its acquisition of a 23.5 per cent stake in pan-African bank Ecobank International in 2014 and its $2bn purchase of Societe Generale’s Egyptian business.

The lender has the greatest asset base outside its relatively small home market, and is aiming to become a leading global bank by 2030. It has banking operations in 29 countries, including the UAE, Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan, amongst others.

QATAR’S TOP BANKS
(Based on total assets of listed banks at the end of 2016)

1. Qatar National Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 197,718,273
Assets in 2015 ($000): 147,968,995
Growth (2015-2016): 33.62%
2016 net profit ($000): 3,407,769
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 1.72%

2. Qatar Islamic Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 38,415,969
Assets in 2015 ($000): 34,898,490
Growth (2015-2016): 10.08%
2016 net profit ($000): 579,869
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 1.51%

3. Commercial Bank of Qatar

Assets in 2016 ($000): 35,818,760
Assets in 2015 ($000): 33,906,883
Growth (2015-2016): 5.64%
2016 net profit ($000): 137,741
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 0.38%

4. Al Rayan

Assets in 2016 ($000): 25,145,879
Assets in 2015 ($000): 22,809,341
Growth (2015-2016): 10.24%
2016 net profit ($000): 570,055
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 2.27%

5. Doha Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 24,825,535
Assets in 2015 ($000): 22,887,119
Growth (2015-2016): 8.47%
2016 net profit ($000): 289,500
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 1.17%

6. Al Khaliji Commercial Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 16,647,596
Assets in 2015 ($000): 15,558,800
Growth (2015-2016): 7%
2016 net profit ($000): 117,193
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 0.7%

7. Barwa Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 12,651,011
Assets in 2015 ($000): 12,418,027
Growth (2015-2016): 1.88%
2016 net profit ($000): 202,968
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 1.60%

8. Qatar International Islamic Bank

Assets in 2016 ($000): 11,689,824
Assets in 2015 ($000): 11,137,375
Growth (2015-2016): 4.96%
2016 net profit ($000): 215,596
Return on assets (ROA) in 2016: 1.84%

Also read: Revealed: Top 10 banks in the UAE

Revealed: Top 10 banks in Saudi Arabia