Gulf lender QNB’s quarterly profit climbs 9% on loan growth

The Qatar National Bank logo is seen on its building in Doha, Qatar January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

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DUBAI, April 11 (Reuters) – Qatar National Bank (QNB) (QNBK.QA) posted a 9% rise in quarterly profit on Monday, helped by healthy loan growth and cost savings.

Gulf banks are recovering as pandemic-related restrictions are eased and economic activity picks up, benefiting from higher energy prices, with oil being the region’s main export.

The Gulf’s biggest bank reported net profit of 3.62 billion Qatari riyals ($989.6 million) for the three months ending March 31, up from 3.31 billion riyals a year earlier.

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EFG Hermes had predicted a net profit of 3.68 billion riyals in the first quarter.

QNB said in a statement that loans and advances increased by 6% in the first quarter compared to the previous year, due to the recovery in economic activity.

The S&P Global rating expects Qatar’s economy to grow by 4% in 2022, supported by high vaccination rates, the FIFA World Cup and rising oil prices.

Qatari banks have minimal direct exposure to Russian or Ukrainian counterparties, the rating agency said in a report last week.

The bank said its cost-to-income ratio fell to 20.8% in the first quarter from 23.4% a year earlier, citing cost savings and better sources of revenue. Customer deposits increased by 5%.

QNB has received regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 100% from April 6, he said.

$1 = 3.6580 Qatari riyals)

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Reporting by Saeed Azhar Editing by David Goodman and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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