Doha, 14 January 2014 – QNB Group, the World’s Strongest Bank and the leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa, continued to record robust growth in profitability, with Net Profit for 2013 amounting to QR9.5 billion (USD2.6 billion), up by 13.7% compared to 2012. These results include the financial results of QNB ALAHLI in Egypt, in which the Group concluded the acquisition of a controlling stake amounting to 97.12% in March 2013.
Based on the strong financial results for 2013 and consistent with QNB Group’s aim of maximising returns to shareholders, the Board of Directors is recommending to the General Assembly the distribution of a cash dividend of 70% of the nominal share value (QR7.0 per share). The financial results for 2013 along with the profit distribution are subject to Qatar Central Bank (QCB) approval.
The Group’s prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) of 20.4%, which is considered one of the best ratios among financial institutions in the region.
Total assets increased by 20.9% from December 2012 to reach QR443 billion (USD121.8 billion), the highest ever achieved by the Group. This was the result of a strong growth rate of 24.3% in loans and advances to reach QR311 billion (USD85.3 billion).
The Group was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.6%, a level considered one of the lowest amongst banks in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting the high quality of the Group’s loan book and the effective management of credit risk. The Group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning continued with the coverage ratio reaching 123% in December 2013.
At the same time QNB Group increased customer funding by 24.3% to QR336 billion (USD92.2 billion). This led to the Group’s loan to deposit ratio to reach 93%.
In order to diversify its source of funds, in April QNB Group announced the successful completion of a bond issuance under its Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) program in the international capital markets. Under this program a USD1.0 billion tranche was issued on 22 April 2013 with a 7 year maturity and an attractive coupon rate of 2.875%. In October QNB Group announced the completion of its highly successful dual tranche US Dollar bond amounting to USD1.5 billion under its Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) program in the international capital markets. Under this program, two tranches were issued on 23rd October 2013. One tranche of USD750 million with a 3 year maturity, at a coupon rate of 3 month Libor + 1.25% and another tranche of USD750 million with a 5 year maturity, at a fixed coupon rate of 2.75%. Both the April and the October Reg S issues generated strong interest from investors around the world.
Total Equity increased by 12.0% from December 2012 to reach QR54 billion (USD14.8 billion) as at 31 December 2013. Earnings per Share reached QR13.5 (USD3.70), compared to QR11.9 (USD3.27) in December 2012.
The capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.6% as at 31 December 2013, higher than the regulatory requirements of Qatar Central Bank and the Basel Committee. The Group is keen to maintain a strong capitalisation in order to support future strategic plans.
As a result of the Group’s high credit ratings and outstanding asset quality, it was selected as one of the world’s 50 safest financial institutions by Global Finance.
QNB Group tops the list in the Bloomberg Markets magazine’s annual ranking of the World’s Strongest Banks. 2012 was the first time that QNB was included in the list of eligible banks (78 banks were eligible globally) as a result of achieving more than USD100 billion of assets.
QNB Group opened a representative office in China and established a fully owned subsidiary in India under the name of “QNB India Private Limited”.
Based on the Group’s continuous strong performance and the expanding international presence, the bank is currently ranked as the most valuable brand in the MENA region, with a world ranking of 120 (Brand Value: USD1.31 billion).
With the addition of QNB ALAHLI, the new subsidiary in India and the new office in China, QNB Group’s presence through its subsidiaries and associate companies increased to 26 countries providing a comprehensive range of products and services. The total number of staff is more than 13,600 operating from 590 locations and with an ATM network of more than 1,240 machines.