Yousef Hussein Kamal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar National Bank (QNB), which owns 23.8% of the shares of Commercial Bank International (CBI) which is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced that, once again, QNB was able to deliver strong growth across the range of its activities both domestically and internationally which positively contributed to its profitability that surpassed QR2.7 billion. The level of profitability for the first half of 2010 was higher than the level of profitability for all of 2007, clearly demonstrating QNB's ability to record exceptional growth for the benefits of shareholders. H.E. added: "These outstanding financial results demonstrate once again QNB's strong capabilities and its leading position among the leading financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
For the six months ended 30 June 2010, net profit reached QR2.7 billion, up 30.8% on the net profit delivered in June 2009. Total assets grew since June 2009 to QR186.0 billion, representing an increase of QR38.9 billion, or 26.5%. Loans and advances and financing activities grew to QR117.6 billion, representing an increase of QR34.7 billion, or 41.9%. Customer deposits and unrestricted investment accounts also increased by QR36.4 billion (35.4%) during the period to reach QR139.2 billion.
Net operating income increased by QR797.7 million (29.2%) to exceed QR3.5 billion. This was mainly due to the increase in net interest income and income from financing activities of QR792.2 million (44.7%) to reach QR2.6 billion. Net fees and commission income grew by QR89.5 million (18.7%) to QR567.6 million. Net gains from foreign currency transactions increased by QR24.8 million (16.3%) to reach QR176.6 million.
Total equity attributable to the Bank shareholders grew since June 2009 to QR21.1 billion, representing an increase of QR3.4 billion, or 19.0%.
QNB Al Islami also succeeded in achieving excellent results during the first half of 2010, with net profit increasing by 140% to reach QR443.2 million. Financing activities increased by QR15.8 billion (203%) since June 2009 to reach QR23.5 billion. QNB Al Islami total assets increased by QR15.0 billion (106%) to reach QR29.2 billion.
Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, QNB's Group Chief Executive Officer, said: "These excellent results for the first half of 2010 clearly reflect the successful implementation of QNB's strategic objectives across the range of business activities including the international expansion plans. It is also a reflection of the effective risk management framework that was vital in avoiding the negative consequences of the international financial crisis. Mr. Al Emadi added: "QNB is keen on enhancing its service quality and on providing customers with distinctive and innovative products that cater to their growing needs and expectations."
In regard of QNB's international expansion plans, efforts are underway to increase the number of foreign branches in Oman and Sudan in order to enhance the ability to meet an increased level of activities. A similar process is also occurring in Syria whereby a number of new branches were recently established. Efforts are also underway in Syria to establish additional branches in various provinces across the country to increase the network to 15 branches by early next year. Other significant developments include the listing of QNB – Syria in the parallel market of the Damascus Stock Market. Also, QNB's Group stake in QNB – Syria is being increased to 55% from 49% along with an increase of its share capital to $300 million from $100 million currently. This is a clear reflection of our confidence towards the promising outlook of the Syrian banking sector and the increasing opportunities available to QNB – Syria.
QNB continues to play a leading role in the financing of various projects of the private and public sectors across the range of economic activities. The Bank also played a key role in Qatar Telecom's revolving credit facility that amounted to $2 billion in which QNB played a role as Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, Bookrunner and General Financial Advisor. This facility was successfully closed drawing a strong response with total subscription of almost twice the original target.
A recognition of QNB's leading market position and its ability to deliver sustained growth in all activities is the affirmation by Standard & Poor's of QNB's credit ratings in March 2010, with a long-term rating of A+ and short-term rating of A1, with a Stable Outlook. QNB's ratings from the leading international ratings agencies including S&P, Capital Intelligence, Fitch and Moody's are the highest and on par with a small group of leading financial institutions in the region.
Further evidence of QNB's leading position in the banking sector, the Bank was selected once again in 2010 as the Best Bank in Qatar from Euromoney. The Euromoney Awards for Excellence is among the most respected global awards for excellence that takes into account business volume, innovation, leadership, credit ratings, quality of assets, efficiency ratios and key performance indicators among factors considered for the award.