The bottom line was lifted by a strong rise in net interest income, which advanced by 29 per cent to QR 444.3 million ($122 million) in the first half. Provisions were increased by 75 per cent to QR 70.2 million ($19.3 million).

The balance sheet grew by 23 per cent to QR 32,918 million ($9,043 million). Loans and advances were barely changed from the figure reported at the end of 2001. Customer deposits were QR 24,865 million ($6,830 million), 22 per cent higher than a year earlier and 14 per cent above the level at the end of 2001.

QNB is the most valuable entity listed on the Doha Securities Market. Its share price closed on 23 July at QR 75.5 ($21), 28 per cent higher than the figure at the end of 2001. It accounted for just under half of the total assets of local banks at the end of 2001.