DOHA: QNB Group, the region’s largest lender, reported a robust 7.7 percent increase in the net profit for the year 2015, compared to the previous year. The net profit amounted to QR11.3bn ($3.1bn) for the full-year.
Based on the strong financial results for 2015 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 35 percent of the nominal share value (QR3.5 per share) and a bonus shares of 20 percent of the share capital (Two shares for every ten shares).
The prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) of 21.5 percent, which is considered one of the best ratios among financial institutions in the region. QNB Group’s total assets increased by 10.7 percent from December 2014 to QR539bn ($147.9bn), the highest ever achieved by the Group. This was the result of a strong growth rate of 14.8 percent in loans and advances to reach QR388bn ($106.7bn).
The Group was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.4 percent, 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 conservative policy in regard to provisioning continued with the coverage ratio reaching 127 percent in December 2015.
At the same time, QNB Group increased customer funding by 10.5 percent to QR395bn ($108.6bn). This led to the Group’s loan to deposit ratio reaching 98 percent. Total equity increased by 7.1 percent from December 2014 to reach QR62bn ($17.0bn) as at December 31, 2015. Earnings per share reached QR16.1 ($4.4) compared to QR14.9 in December 2014.
Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) calculated as per the QCB and Basel III requirements stood at 16.3 percent, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee. The Group is keen to maintain a strong capitalisation in order to support future strategic plans.