A robust double-digit growth in domestic assets largely covered a sizeable dip in overseas assets as the country’s commercial banks’ total assets saw a healthy 8.56% growth to QR1.68tn in December 2020, according to the central bank data.

The latest report from the Qatar Central Bank suggests that the domestic assets constituted QR1.46tn, or 87%, of the total; and overseas assets at QR0.22tn, or 13%, of the total in the review period.

Total domestic assets were seen expanding 10.74%; while foreign assets shrank 3.84% year-on-year in December 2020.

The year-on-year expansion in total assets of the commercial lenders in the review period has been on impressive growth especially in credit, securities portfolio (notably in debt), cash and precious metals, other non-specified assets and required reserve.

The commercial banks' total credit soared 8.62% year-on-year to QR1.13bn with domestic credit growing 9.24% to QR1.05bn and overseas credit by 0.71% to QR75.42bn in December last year.

The commercial banks' total credit to public sector witnessed 11% yearly growth to QR371.64bn and that to the private sector by 8% to QR742.88bn; whereas those to non-banking financial institutions fell 1% to QR14.19bn in the review period.

The total securities portfolio, which is the second largest component of the commercial banks' assets side, witnessed a 10.37% year-on-year increase to QR218.26bn in December 2020.

The domestic securities portfolio was seen surging about 12% to QR199.24bn; whereas overseas securities portfolio shrank more than 3% to QR19.02bn in the review period.

Of the total QR218.26bn total securities portfolio, debt (conventional) was to the extent of QR139.9bn, which grew more than 18% year-on-year; and sukuk of QR73.76bn, which was down more than 1% year-on-year in the review period.

The domestic debt shot up about 22% on a yearly basis to QR126.99bn, while overseas debt by fell more than 10% to QR12.9bn in December 2020.

The government’s total debt fell more than 4% year-on-year to QR98.76bn with domestic debt declining 4% to QR90.62bn and foreign debt by more than 7% to QR8.14bn in the review period.

The banks’ total debt was down more than 25% year-on-year to QR7.65bn in December 2020. The domestic debt witnessed about 31% growth to QR4.32bn and overseas debt by about 17% to QR3.33bn.

However, debt issued by neither government, not banks grew more than six-fold to QR33.49bn, mainly from the domestic side, in the review period.

The domestic sukuk issuance saw about a 2% fall to QR70.39bn, while foreign issuance grew more than 13% to QR3.38bn in the review period.

Of the total sukuk, the government’s issuance amounted to QR68.12bn (down more than 3%), while those from the banks stood at QR4.23bn (up 37%) during the review period.

The commercial banks’ claim on the central bank increased about 35% year-on-year to QR74.71bn in December 2020, of which required reserve amounted to QR40.26bn that expanded about 8% on a yearly basis.

The commercial banks' cash and precious metals were valued at QR21.94bn in December 2020, which surged more than 71% year-on-year.

The commercial banks' total claims on banks witnessed about 7% year-on-year decrease to QR148.92bn in December 2020. The overseas claims reported about 30% expansion to QR66.3bn; whereas domestic claims were down 4% to QR62.91bn in the review period.

The commercial banks’ total investment in subsidiaries and associates amounted to QR44.28bn in December 2020, which saw more than 1% shrinkage year-on-year.

However, their domestic investments reported about a 9% jump to QR6.75bn; while overseas investments were down 3% to QR37.53bn at the end of December 2020.

The banking sector’s other assets shot up more than 13% year-on-year to QR35.46bn at the end of December last year.