*Board of Directors recommends cash dividend pay-out of 15% of par value or QR1.5 per share subject to approval at Commercial Bank's Annual General Assembly on March 20Last updated: February 04 2019 08:59 PM
Commercial Bank Group has posted a net profit of QR1.66bn in 2018, which represents an increase of 175.5% compared with 2017.
The bank’s total assets stood at QR135.1bn in 2018, a year in which Commercial Bank started to see the results of its five-year strategic plan come to fruition.
In 2017, Commercial Bank had earned a net profit of QR603.7mn.
Announcing the financial results in Doha on Friday, Commercial Bank chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali bin Jabor al-Thani said, “Qatar’s economy is developing as the State pushes forward with reforms designed to strengthen the country’s economic future. In 2018, Qatar’s private sector grew by almost 6%, a clear indication that the right initiatives have been put in place to promote sustainable economic growth. This positive momentum is set to continue in 2019, with the IMF forecasting 4% growth for the non-oil sector.
“In December 2018, S&P Global Ratings revised Qatar’s outlook to stable due to the country’s prudent macroeconomic policies, which is an affirmation of the confidence global investors place on the country’s economic prospects.
“Commercial Bank’s position as a leading financial institution enables it to play a significant role in supporting Qatar’s economic transformation agenda by participating in projects that will strengthen and diversify the national economy.”
Commercial Bank’s vice chairman Hussain Alfardan said, “In 2018, Commercial Bank started to see the results of its five-year strategic plan come to fruition. As the legacy loan book provision programme comes to an end, the bank focused on optimising its portfolio and driving efficiencies. Operating expenses were down 11.5% as important investments in digitisation and automation created leaner and more effective internal processes. The bank continued to show significant improved bottom line performance.
“Consequently, the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend pay-out of 15% of par value, or QR1.5 per share (pay-out ratio of 37%), subject to approval at the Annual General Assembly on March 20, 2019.
“We remain committed to providing our customers with world-class products and services all delivered through multiple channels, including the latest digital channels. In 2019 we will see the rollout of new branches aligned to our client footprint and the latest digital offerings to meet the needs of our clients in both the retail and wholesale banking segments. Commercial Bank has always been a leader in innovation and we will continue to reinforce our market leading position through these new client-oriented initiatives.”
The group’s net provisions for loans and advances decreased by 45.4% to QR927mn for the year that ended in December 2018, from QR1.69bn in 2017.
The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio decreased to 5.6% in December 2018 compared to 5.7% in 2017.
The loan coverage ratio dropped to 78.9% in December 2018 compared to 81% in 2017.
The group balance sheet declined by 2.4% as of December 31, 2018 with total assets at QR135.1bn compared to QR138.4bn in 2017. The reduction was mainly due to lower loans and advances.
Commercial Bank Group’s loans and advances to customers fell by 6.1% to QR83.7bn in December 2018 compared with QR89.1bn in 2017. This was mainly due to the depreciation and the revaluation in government temporary overdraft.
Its customer deposits fell by 8.1% to QR71.3bn in December 2018, compared with QR77.6bn in 2017, as the bank “let go expensive deposits.”