Qatar National Bank first-quarter net profit rises 7%

The lender had total assets of 1.237 trillion riyals as of the end of March

By Reuters

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Published: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 8:21 PM

Qatar National Bank’s (QNB) net profit rose seven per cent in the first quarter, the Gulf’s biggest bank by assets said on Monday, after a boost from increased net interest income.

QNB’s net profit for the quarter was 4.1 billion Qatari riyals ($1.12 billion), up from 3.9 billion riyals a year earlier and in line with analysts’ forecasts, LSEG data showed.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the US dollar and Gulf lenders have benefited from higher interest rates in the United States to combat inflation.

QNB’s net interest income — the difference between what banks earn on loans and pay out on deposits — increased by around 12 per cent to 8.08 billion riyals, while operating income rose 11 per cent to 10.4 billion.

“Overall, results were pretty solid,” banking analyst at EFG Hermes Elena Sanchez-Cabezudo told Reuters.

The positive net profit reading resulted from drivers including an increase in net interest income, fee and forex incomes and lower provisioning costs, she said.

The lender had total assets of 1.237 trillion riyals as of the end of March, up five per cent year-on-year and mainly driven by a seven per cent growth in loans and advances from a year earlier.

QNB’s credit growth of 7 per cent in the first quarter was particularly positive and close to a forecast of an average eight per cent growth expected from Saudi and UAE lenders, Sanchez-Cabezudo said.

EFG expects the bank to confirm its latest earnings growth guidance of seve to nine per cent for 2024 during the earnings call next week, she added.

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