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FitchRatings: “QNB has performed extremely well, with improving core earnings, good cost control and low impairment charges supporting strong profitability”


Doha, 11 August 2011 – Qatar National Bank Group (QNB) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) has been affirmed by Fitch Ratings at ‘A+’ with a Stable Outlook.

The affirmation of QNB’s rating by Fitch in the midst of a challenging global credit environment which has continued to put pressure on banks ratings across the world, is a clear demonstration of the strong performance by QNB and its ability to effectively manage risk across the range of its activities.

According to Fitch, QNB has performed extremely well, with improving core earnings, good cost control and low impairment charges supporting strong profitability.  Fitch expects these trends to continue, with QNB being a major beneficiary of increased state spending and solid GDP growth.

Earlier this year, Capital Intelligence upgraded QNB Group's Financial Strength Rating from A+ to AA- and affirmed all other ratings, which are among the highest in the region. Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Moody’s have also affirmed QNB Group's rating in recent months, reflecting the Bank’s strong financial indicators, high quality loan portfolio, leading position in the market and it growth prospects.  QNB’s rating from Moody’s, S&P and Fitch are amongst the highest in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
QNB posted a Net Profit of QR3.5 billion in June 2011, up by 30.1% from the same period in 2010.  QNB’s Profit ranking increased to 1st in June 2011 amongst banks in the GCC from the second spot in June 2010.  Total Assets also witnessed a strong growth, up by 41.7% since June 2010 to QR263.6 billion.

The rating actions by Fitch are as follows:

Long-term IDR affirmed at 'A+' with a Stable Outlook
Short-term IDR affirmed at 'F1'
Viability Rating affirmed at 'a'
Individual Rating affirmed at 'B/C'
Support Rating affirmed at '1'
Support Rating Floor affirmed at 'A+'
Senior Unsecured Debt at ‘A+’


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