Doha 18 March 2015 - QNB, “One of the World’s Strongest Banks”, has consolidated both its position as the leading Financial Institution in the MENA Region and its region leading credit rating performance following the news by Fitch Ratings that the Group’s Long Term Rating has been upgraded to AA- from the previous A+ with an immediate effect.
The move by internationally renowned Fitch Ratings follows their recent report on the positive outlook of The State of Qatar and in particular, the “healthy condition” of the Banking Sector . They concluded that Local Banks were highly capitalised and that asset quality was solid. Commitment from the Government to the sector was a key underlying factor in the reflected cumulative upgrade of Bank Ratings supported by sovereign wealth funds and the on-going strong revenues from hydrocarbon production.
Within the comprehensive Fitch Report, QNB was singled out as “The Flagship Bank” in the sector with its impressive market performance and strong public and private sector business relationships.
At the heart of the strong QNB credit ratings is a robust and growing financial performance. Profits for Financial Year 2014 were QAR 10.5 billion (up 10.3% on 2013) and Total Assets increased to a record high level of QAR 486 billion (up 9.7% on 2013). In addition, QNB confirmed its position as “One of the Top 50 World’s Safest Banks” in The Global Finance Annual Survey 2014.
QNB’s strong financial performance is complemented and supported by an expanding international presence. QNB currently operates in more than 26 countries across 3 continents. Following a prudent strategy of international expansion the QNB Group has capitalised on, and strengthened, its brand equity, which was recently recognised by Brand Finance when it confirmed that QNB was now “The biggest banking brand by value in The Middle East and Africa”. Brand Value stood at US$2.6 billion and this placed QNB as the 79th largest Banking Brand within the Top 500 Global Bank Brands in 2015 up from 101st in 2014.
Growth in the International Network has provided commercial investment opportunities both into the respective markets by QNB and through revenue streams back into the Qatar domestic market. This flow of trade is particularly relevant as QNB further grows its position in the South East Asia and Africa markets.
This is exemplified by QNB’s vision to become a Middle East and Africa Icon by 2017. In line with this vision QNB Group has acquired a 20.0% stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a leading pan-African bank with a presence in 36 countries across the African continent, since September 2014. This strategic partnership is another fundamental step in QNB’s international expansion plans and provides a commercial platform for the business to further develop its core strengths and product offerings to a growing base of customers and clients both within The State of Qatar and internationally.