(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Satish Kanady / The Peninsula
DOHA: QIB's annual general assembly has approved the bank's board of directors' recommendation to renew, and also to increase, the bank's Sukuk programme. The leading Islamic lenders' AGM, met here yesterday, gave the nod to renew the QR7.5bn limit for Additional Tier 1 (AT1) Perpetual Sukuk, of which QR4bn is utilised.
The shareholders meeting also gave the approval to increase the limit of QIB Sukuk programme in US dollar to a maximum of $4bn, instead for $3bn, besides approving the increase in percentage of ownership of the non-Qataris in the bank's capital to 49 percent instead of 25 percent. The AGM gave approval to the board of director's 10-point agenda and separately, the EGM approved the agenda to amend the articles of association of the bank to adjust its position in accordance with the Commercial Companies Law No.11 of 2015 and the principles of governance.
Addressing the shareholders' meeting, QIB Chairman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani said the bank achieved a 16.5 percent annual average growth rate in profits over the past four years, which is higher than the market average. 2017 was a challenging year, considering the current situation and with its emerging effects on the financial and banking sector, which QIB has been able to face with high capabilities. QIB continued its journey with full confidence, exceeding all expectations and achieving results that boosted its position as the best Islamic financial institution locally and at the regional level.
'QIB remained committed to international banking standards and the instructions of the regulatory and supervisory authorities in Qatar, as well as to the standards of corporate governance. The Bank also continued to update and add the necessary policies and procedures that are in line with the best practices of governance and regulatory requirements. Thanks to its exceptional performance and creative services and products, your Bank was recognized by many international financial institutions and industry publications as a leading Islamic Bank locally and internationally. QIB also continued to obtain high ratings by international rating agencies, Sheikh Jassim said.
Moving forward, the Chairman said, QIB will continue to focus on the Qatari market in 2018, given the significant opportunities the market provides. The bank will continue to offer new products to satisfy existing customers and attract new ones. QIB will also invest extensively in advanced technology, digital banking services, and the additional IT assets needed to turn the Bank into a successful digital institution, he said.
During the year 2017, Sheikh Jassim said, QIB focused on information security, where it invested in financial resources, specialised human resources, and efficient information systems to ensure the safety and impregnability of information. It made huge strides in this respect. The Bank also realised, at an early stage, the importance of online banking services and optimum use of information technology to simplify operations. It, therefore, managed to update the smartphone applications of its Omni mobile banking channels, emerging as a pioneer in some of these services and introduced advanced ATM services. The Bank also developed and expanded on the services offered at its customer service centres, moving closer towards digitalizing the services.
During the year, QIB also adopted a focussed strategy to improve services throughout its network of branches. It expanded its presence to major landmarks across Qatar; unprofitable branches were replaced by more conveniently located branches.
2017 was a year of prosperity and growth for QIB. The bank's assets increased by 7.5 percent from a year ago, to reach QR150.4bn. Customer deposits grew by 6.7 percent to QR101.8bn, Sheikh Jassim said.
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