Qatar’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank (QNB), has announced that its first-quarter net income jumped 7.1 per cent to QR2.9bn ($787m).

QNB’s total assets rose by 9.7 per cent at the end of March, from the same period in 2015, to reach QR550bn, the highest-ever achieved by the bank. Loans and advances climbed 16.4 per cent to QR402bn, the lender said in a statement.

QNB increased customer funding by 10.1 per cent to QR403bn, which helped it maintain a loan-to-deposit ratio of 99.7 per cent. It also kept the non performing loans-to-gross loans ratio at 1.4 per cent.

“The group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning continued, with the coverage ratio reaching 120 per cent,’’ said QNB’s statement.

The Qatari lender, which has appointed banks to arrange a €1.5bn ($1.7bn) three-year loan with the help of France’s Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, and Netherlands-based ING, said its capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.8 per cent at the end of first quarter this year, higher than the minimum regulatory requirements of Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and the Basel Committee.

QNB, which announced a 7.7 per cent increase in its 2015 net profit to QR11.3bn, said in January that it plans to increase capital to maintain reserves above the regulatory requirements and support future growth.