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Qatar National Bank Q1 Net Profit Up 6.7% On Loan Growth

Qatar National Bank Q1 Net Profit Up 6.7% On Loan Growth

The bank’s lending growth year-on-year stood at 28.7 per cent during the first quarter.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the acquisitive Gulf Arab lender, posted an 6.7 per cent jump in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, in line with analysts’ estimates, on the back of strong loan growth in the Gulf state.

QNB, which completed the purchase of a majority stake in Societe Generale’s Egyptian arm for $2 billion last month, posted a net profit of QR2.1 billion ($577 million) for the first three months of 2013, compared with QR2 billion a year earlier, the bank said in a statement on Sunday.

Analysts on average forecast a net profit of QR2.18 billion in a Reuters poll.

QNB, whose results are generally seen as an indicator for the sector’s performance in the country, said it would include results of its Egypt acquisition, National Societe Generale Bank in its second quarter numbers.

Lending growth year-on-year stood at 28.7 per cent, with loans and advances standing at QR259 billion on March 31.

Deposits grew 28.2 per cent over the same period to QR280 billion.

QNB, which has snapped up several banking stakes as part of a regional expansion strategy, said in December it was now looking at a majority stake in a top 10 Turkish bank as a means to add value.

The bank, which already has stakes in lenders in countries such as Indonesia, Jordan and Tunisia, wants its international business to contribute around 40 per cent of profit and 45 per cent of total assets by 2017, chief financial officer Ramzi Mari said in December, up from around 17 per cent and 30 per cent prior to the NSGB transaction.

The lender, which is 50-per cent owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and has a market value of around $26 billion, raised its stake in Abu Dhabi-based Commercial Bank International to 39.9 per cent from 16.5 per cent last year.

It also boosted its stake in Iraq’s Mansour Bank to 51 per cent and bought a 49 per cent stake in Libya’s Bank of Commerce and Development last April.

QNB shares closed down 0.7 per cent on Sunday before the results were announced against a wider market decline of 0.5 per cent. The shares have risen 3.4 per cent year-to-date, marginally outperforming the wider benchmark which is up 2.1 per cent during the same period.

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