The bank says rising profits were the result of growth in all core business activities.

For the first nine months of 2008, loans and advances expanded by 37 per cent to QR32.1bn, while deposits rose by just 19.2 per cent to QR29.9bn.

The bank said it had reduced its cost-income ratio from 23.9 per cent at the end of the third quarter of 2007, to 22 per cent at the end of the third quarter of 2008.

CBQ added that its stakes in National Bank of Oman and United Arab Bank in the UAE had contributed a total of 9.9 per cent to its profits in the first nine months of the year.