QNB profit growth slows

08 October 2015

Growth remains healthy, but suggests weakening economic context

  • Qatar National Bank’s third quarter net profit growth slows to 9.4 per cent compared with previous average growth rate of 16 per cent
  • Total assets grew 9.6 per cent, while loans and advances rose 11.5 per cent

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest in the country, has posted QR8.7bn ($2.4bn) of net profits for the first nine months of 2015.

This is 9.4 per cent above the same period in 2014, but represents a slowdown from QNB’s runaway profits growth, which averaged 16 per cent a year between 2011 and mid-2015.

The bank’s total assets were up 9.6 per cent year-on year to QR521bn. This also suggests a slowdown from the average asset growth of 22 per cent a year over the past five years.

Loan and advances growth remained in the double figures, rising 11.5 per cent over the same period to QR367bn. Deposit growth slowed to 8.9 per cent year on year, to reach QR381bn.

QNB’s loan-to-deposit ratio was 96 per cent at the end of September, up from 93.4 per cent in June. This is significantly lower than the ratio of domestic credit to total deposits across the Qatari banking system, which was 107 per cent in June 2015, according to US-based Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

The reduced, but still healthy, growth by Qatar’s most important bank reflects analysis on the country’s economy. Qatar’s massive public infrastructure investment programme will support economic growth despite the decline in commodities prices, according to S&P. Hydrocarbons contribute 55 per cent of Qatar’s GDP.

S&P expects Qatar’s GDP growth to slow from 6 per cent since 2012, to about 4 per cent over the next three years. This will slow banking sector growth, and affect their leverage and loan-to-deposit ratios. The ratings agency predicts deposit growth will gradually decelerate, while public sector deposits already fell 2 per cent to 37 per cent of the deposit base between mid-2014 and 2015.

QNB’s share price fell 0.3 per cent on the profits report.

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