Doha Bank has reported a 10.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) jump in net profit to QR231mn in the first quarter (Q1) of this year.

Total assets were valued at QR102.4bn, expanding 5.9% on an annualised basis with net loans and advances growing by 2.7% to QR58.2bn at the end of March 31, 2024, said Doha Bank chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani.

The bank saw a 5.1% annual growth in private sector lending in the review period, he said, adding customer deposits grew by 7.5% to QR52.2bn and investment portfolio by 20.3% to QR30.1bn in January-March this year.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani, Doha Bank managing director, said it continues to maintain stable capital and liquidity positions.

The common equity Tier I (CET1) ratio remains at 13.34% and the total capital adequacy ratio is strong at 19.74%, he said, adding the loan-to-deposit ratio has greatly improved, reaching 95.4%, which is well within the limits of the regulator.

The bank, according to him, has "significantly" improved its funding profile over the last six months and this allows the bank to fund future lending growth, which "we are anticipating for this year."

Liquidity coverage ratio continues to be high at 163% up from year-end 142%. The total shareholders' equity reached QR14.5bn, showing an increase of 4.4% against the last year levels.

"We are gradually starting to see some results from the transformation that is now well underway. Staying with the momentum from the previous quarter and in alignment with the bank strategy, we continue to place a strong emphasis on the transformation and optimisation of the bank's operations both domestically and abroad," Doha Bank group chief executive officer Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Fahad bin Faisal al-Thani said.

During the quarter, the bank reduced the number of retail branches in Qatar to 16 and merged its UAE branches.

"Moving forward, the Dubai office will be a key and integral part of the business strategy towards outsourcing deals, both regionally and internationally, and coordinate as a booking centre for the broader overseas work," he said.

During the quarter, Doha Bank returned to the international debt capital market for the time in more than two years and its $500mn bond issuance was well received, closing the pricing of the five-year transaction with a coupon rate of 5.25% per annum. It was subsequently listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2024.

The bank’s euro medium term note programme issuance was met with exceptional demand from international and regional investors. The success of this transaction demonstrates the positive investor reception of strategic changes being implemented by the bank.

Fitch, an international credit rating agency, upgraded the bank’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) to 'A' from 'A-' and short-term IDR to 'F1' from 'F2' with a "stable" outlook.
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