QNB Group, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and North Africa, has reported a 7% year-on-year jump in net profit to QR3.4bn in the first three months of this year.
Total assets increased 12% from March 2017 to QR834bn, the highest ever achieved by the group, its spokesman said, adding the key driver of growth in total assets was loans and advances which expanded 12% to QR598bn.
The lender was also successful in attracting funding, thus increasing customer deposits by 12% to QR604bn. This enabled the group to maintain its loans-to-deposits ratio at 99%.
QNB's successful funding from the international markets during the first three months of 2018 mainly included capital market issuances of Aus$700mn with a 5 and 10-year maturity; $720mn Formosa bonds in Taiwan, private placements totalling $2.5bn with two–three year maturity and a three-year senior unsecured syndicated term loan facility of $3.5bn in February 2018.
The group’s prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability helped improve the efficiency (cost-to-income) ratio to 27.8%, which is considered one of the best ratios among financial institutions in the region.
The stock of non-performing loans ratio of 1.8% at the end of March 31, 2018 has been witnessed on a consistent basis, year-on-year, reflecting the high quality of the group’s loan book and the effective management of credit risk.
QNB's conservative policy in regard to provisioning continued with the coverage ratio maintained at 110% as at the end of first quarter ended March 31, 2018.
Total equity was up 2% to QR73bn and earnings-per-share was QR3.6 as on March 31, 2018.
The bank's capital adequacy ratio stood at 16%, which is higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and the Basel Committee.
As part of QNB Group’s continued drive to enhance its status as a global financial institution, the board has recommended to the extraordinary general assembly meeting of shareholders (to be held on April 17, 2018), to approve the increase of non-Qatari ownership limit from 25% to 49% as well as increasing single ownership limit to be increased from 2% to 5%, in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
QNB Group serves a customer base of more than 22mn with more than 28,000 staff resources operating from 1,200 locations and a network comprising more than 4,300 ATMs.