Capital Intelligence Ratings (CI), the international credit rating agency, has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) financial strength rating (FSR) at ‘A’, with a "stable" outlook.
The bank’s long-and short-term foreign currency ratings (FCRs) are also affirmed at ‘A+’ and ‘A2’, respectively. The outlook on the long-term FCR is upgraded to "stable", from negative, in line with the recently raised outlook on the sovereign.
The rating agency had affirmed Qatar’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer ratings at ‘AA-’ and short-term foreign and local currency ratings at ‘A1+’, while upgrading the outlook on them to "stable" from "negative".
QIB was the first Islamic banking institution to be incorporated in Qatar in 1982. Following a special issue of shares in 2009 and 2011, the bank’s single largest shareholder at end 2018 was the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, with 17.4%.
None of the bank’s remaining 6,000 shareholders may in theory individually hold more than 5% – in line with the terms of its articles of association (although there is one other legacy shareholding in excess of this limit).
"This 5% rule has become a regulatory maximum for all banks, following a directive from the Qatar Central Bank, but exceptions are being allowed on a temporary basis," CI said.
At an extra-ordinary general assembly meeting in February 2018, the limit on non-Qatari shareholdings was raised to 49% from 25%. QIB, the second largest by total assets in the banking sector ($42.1bn at end-2018), is also one of the largest Islamic banks in the Middle East and North African region.
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