Masraf Al Rayan achieved a net profit of QR2.17bn in 2020, it was announced in a meeting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the board of directors proposed to distribute cash dividends of QR0.170 per share (17% of the paid-up capital), for recommendation to the Ordinary General Assembly in its meeting to be held on March 2 after obtaining the Qatar Central Bank approval.

HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, who is also Masraf Al Rayan chairman and managing director, said: “Last year was an exceptional one by all standards; and we are happy to have successfully passed that stage. In 2020, we witnessed unprecedented events – the coronavirus pandemic that hindered economic activity and the movement of people, thus affecting global markets; the decline in energy prices to record numbers as a result of low demand; caution in the markets and decrease in liquidity, as well as the negative results of global growth; the high cost of borrowing, and the calculation of higher rates of allocations as a precautionary measure – all contributed to considering 2020 an exceptional one.

“However, our insistence was great at Masraf Al Rayan to face these difficulties and come up with the best results, relying on the strength and durability of the Qatari economy, and government measures that were supportive of all economic activities, so we hope that we have succeeded in that.”

He added: “The recommendation of the board of directors to distribute QR0.170 per share to the shareholders, which is subject to the approval of Qatar Central Bank and the general assembly of Al Rayan Bank, is the best evidence to the proper performance of Masraf Al Rayan, and the great efforts made by its executive management and its work team.”

Group CEO Adel Mustafawi said the results are good, and considered the achievement as a great challenge, especially since Masraf Al Rayan, in its commitment to the strategy approved by the board of directors, has maintained its credit rating.

It also has maintained its position amongst banks in Qatar and maintained its financial indicators ratios, achieving the lead in terms of operational efficiency and a low ratio of bad debts, he said.

According to Mustafawi, total assets amounted to QR121.1bn compared to QR106.3bn as of December 31, 2019, or a growth of 13.8%. Financing activities amounted to QR85.98bn compared to QR74.83bn as of December 31, 2019, a growth of 14.9%.

He said investments totalled QR21.12bn as of December 31, 2020, while customer deposits increased by 5.0% to reach QR68.91bn compared to QR65.61bn as of December 31, 2019. Total shareholders' equity (before distribution) reached QR14.36bn compared to QR13.91bn at the end of 2019, with an increase of 3.2%.

On financial indicators, return on average assets maintained an advanced position in the financial market, reaching 1.91%, while return on the average shareholders' equity of the bank reached 15.38%.

Book value per share before distribution is QR1.92 compared to QR1.86 as of December 31, 2019. The capital adequacy ratio reached 19.70%, according to Basel III standards, compared to 20.27% by the end of 2019.

Operating efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) has reached 21.58% to remain one of the best ratios in the region. The non-performing financing ratio (NPF) has reached 1.13%, which reflects very strong and prudent credit and risk management policies and procedures.