Posted on : Thu, 25 Mar 2010

Doha, 25 March 2010 – QNB was named “The Best Bank in Qatar” by emeafinance at the second annual Middle East Banking Awards and was presented with the award during a Charity Dinner organised by emeafinance in Dubai recently.

This is the second annual awards ceremony hosted by emeafinance and the second consecutive year in which QNB was named a winner. At the Middle East Banking Awards 2008, QNB was named the Best Local Investment Bank in Qatar.

The awards celebrate the banks and corporate advisers that steered their way through the crisis to cement longstanding reputations in the region, even during the challenging conditions of 2009. Noting that in 2009, QNB was also selected the Best Bank in Qatar by leading financial publications including The Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance. These cumulative awards are a clear reflection of Bank’s leading position in Qatar’s banking sector and the QNB Group’s continuing ability to record strong financial results.

“In this climate, stability counts for a lot,” said emeafinance in a statement. “So the performance of QNB, which achieved a profit of more than QR1 billion for each of the first three quarters of 2009, makes it a worthy winner.”

The winners were assessed by their performance in the first three quarters of 2009, during which QNB saw profits rise by 4.1% to QR3.1 billion (US$859 million). Total assets, deposits, loans and advances also registered good growth.

At the end of 2009, QNB recorded Net Profit exceeding QR4.2 billion ($1.2 billion), representing an increase of 15% over 2008, affirming its leading position domestically and internationally. These results were the outcome of the Bank’s conservative approach to risk management.

QNB’s General Assembly in February 2010 also ratified the Board of Directors’ proposal to distribute a cash dividend of 40% of the nominal share value (QR4.0 for each share). In addition, the Extraordinary General Assembly approved the recommendation to issue bonus shares comprising 30% of the share capital to shareholders.

Among the factors influencing the Bank’s win at the Middle East Banking Awards was QNB’s industry-high ratings in the Middle East and North Africa region from top ratings agencies including Capital Intelligence, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s.

In an October 2009 research note, Bank of America Merrill Lynch further described the bank’s QR1.06 billion (US$291 million) third-quarter profit as “encouraging” and the 2010 outlook as “solid”, with decent core banking profits and low growth in non-performing loans.

QNB Group was involved in some key transactions, notably through the instrumental role of its investment banking subsidiary QNB Capital. This included the recent role of Mandated Lead Arranger and Coordinating Bank in a term loan facility of multi-currency US$275 million with United Arab Shipping Company.

During 2009, QNB was also involved in two Qatari sovereign bond issuances totalling US$3 billion in April 2009. The Bank was a mandated lead arranger of Qatar Telecom’s US$1.5 billion credit facility and advised the company on its US$1.5 billion bond issuance. QNB also participated in a US$7 billion issuance in the fourth quarter of 2009 as Joint Lead Manager.

QNB continues its strategic international expansion plan with presence currently in 22 countries worldwide. QNB-Syria commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2009, a private stock company owned 49% by QNB, with Syrian government organisations and private investors holding the remaining shares

In November 2009, QNB-Switzerland which is headquartered in Geneva, commenced operations, offering a full range of private banking services combining the financial stability and strength of QNB’s international operations, with the exclusivity and discretion offered to customers by the Swiss financial system.

emeafinance is dedicated exclusively to reporting financial events directed to an executive level audience. The company produces a premier magazine as well as conferences related to finance across the EMEA region.