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Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan Q4 Net Profit Up, Hikes Dividend

Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan Q4 Net Profit Up, Hikes Dividend

Masraf Al Rayan said its net profit for 2014 was QAR2 billion, up 17.6 per cent year-on-year.

Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value, reported a 21.2 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Monday, beating analyst expectations and helped by lending growth.

The increase continues a broadly-positive results season for lenders in the Gulf state, following profit gains at Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank. Doha Bank posted a 7.2 per cent fall in net profit over the same period, though.

Masraf Al Rayan’s net profit for the three months to Dec. 31 was QAR548 million ($150.5 million) compared with QAR452 million in the same period the year before, according to Reuters calculations.

The bank did not provide a quarterly breakdown so Reuters calculated the figure based on financial statements.

Three analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast a net profit of QAR535.1 million.

For the full-year, financing activities reached QAR57.9 billion, up by 39.7 per cent from the end of 2013. Customer deposits reached QAR62.6 billion, up by 29.5 per cent over the same period.

Qatari bank earnings have been propelled in recent years by public spending related to a raft of infrastructure projects as the country prepares to host the soccer World Cup in 2022.

Masraf Al Rayan, which has the largest weighting of any Qatari stock by index compiler MSCI, said in a statement its net profit for 2014 was QAR2 billion, up 17.6 per cent on the year before.

The bank said its board was recommending a dividend for 2014 of QAR1.75 per share. That is higher than the QAR1.5 per share it paid out in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The financial statement included the performance of Al Rayan Bank, the new name for the Islamic Bank of Britain, which was acquired by Masraf Al Rayan in early 2014.

Al Rayan Bank turned a profit during 2014 after 10 years of losses for the Islamic Bank of Britain, it said without detailing the size of the profit.

Shares in Masraf Al Rayan closed down 1.1 per cent on Monday, compared with a 0.1 per cent decline for the wider Qatari market. The results were published after market hours.

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