Assets and revenues at Qatar's Islamic banks have grown over the past year despite the impact of the diplomatic rift in the Gulf region, according to data from the Islamic Financial Services Board.
Qatar has been under a diplomatic and commercial boycott since June last year, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties. Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Barwa Bank held a combined QR358.6bn ($96bn) in assets in the first quarter of this year, an 8.8% increase from a year earlier.
Most of that increase was due to their holdings of Islamic bonds, which stood at QR65.1bn in the first quarter, a 37.7% rise from a year ago, Reuters reported. The Malaysia-based IFSB, which sets the standards for Islamic finance, published the data on Qatar for the first time as part of its quarterly reporting on the industry. The banks reported a combined QR3.9bn in revenues in the first quarter, an 18.6 % increase. Capital adequacy and profitability measures were mostly unchanged, but foreign exchange financing decreased by 7%, IFSB data showed.
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