QIIB chief executive officer Dr Abdulbasit Ahmed al-Shaibei has said the bank’s ratings affirmation by Fitch and Capital Intelligence is a natural reflection of their strong confidence in the Qatari economy and the country’s remarkable success in facing the blockade.
QIIB said international rating agencies Fitch and Capital Intelligence have affirmed the bank’s ratings at ‘A’, which reflects its strong financial position.
Fitch affirmed QIIB’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A’ and said “it reflects Fitch’s expectation of an extremely high probability of support from the government, in case of a need, in comparison to previous cases, where the government has shown strong commitment to the banking sector and key public sector companies, especially as the state is able to support the banking sector backed by its large sovereign reserves and revenues”.
Fitch noted that “QIIB has a stake in the local Islamic banking segment, reaching 13% by the end of 2017 and a considerable strength, especially in the retail segment. The bank is looking to eventually expand its franchise internationally and recently established a bank in Morocco.”
In addition, the bank maintains a strong capital adequacy ratio at 17.9% and liquid assets accounted for a high 28% of deposits at end-2017.
Capital Intelligence said that it has based QIIB’s financing strength rating (FSR) on “the strength of capital adequacy and the healthy growth of the bank’s profits, which confirms its firm position that can be strengthened at the medium term with the opening of a bank by QIIB in Morocco”.
The CI agency confirmed that “the rating is also based on the fact that the QIIB funding was largely from domestic sources; direct impacts from the blockade were minimal, especially in view of the strong liquidity support from the government for the sector as a whole”.
Dr al-Shaibei said, “Affirmation of QIIB credit rating is a natural reflection of the strong confidence in the Qatari economy and its remarkable success in facing the blockade with all its ramifications and effects.”
“QIIB is an active participant of the Qatari banking sector and contributes to the projects’ development and financing programmes of all kinds. Therefore, the emphasis of the credit rating agencies on the strength of the bank’s position is a recognition of the fact that we are on the right track and achieve the strategic objectives of the plan we are implementing under the directives of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.”
“Although 2017 was a year of challenges, a year in which we faced unforeseen developments and risks, we also adapted to different market factors, achieved better growth than in the previous years. We implemented major development plans at the local level in restructuring our branch network, besides developing our alternative channels. The year 2017 witnessed the official launch of our expansion in Morocco through the opening of Umnia Bank, which is the result of a partnership between QIIB and CIH”.
The QIIB’s CEO noted that “The bank continues to improve upon the various performance indicators and this was evident in the various items provisioned in year 2017 financial results. We are optimistic about the future as we are working in accordance with a clear strategy that allows us to contribute effectively to various development programmes and national projects, ensuring the total implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030”.
At the end of 2017, QIIB achieved a net profit of QR832mn, which represents a growth of 6% compared to 2016, while the earning per share stood at QR5.5. The bank’s assets increased at the end of 2017 to reach QR46.6bn, up 9.6% on 2016.
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