(MENAFN - The Peninsula) THE PENINSULA
DOHA: QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, recorded a net profit of QR13.8bn ($3.8bn) for the full-year 2018, up by 5 percent compared to same period last year
QNB's total assets increased by 6 percent from December 2017 to reach QR862bn ($237bn), the highest ever achieved by the Group and one of the best set of results in QNB Group's history. The Board of Directors have recommended to the General Assembly for the distribution of a cash dividend of 60 percent of the nominal share value (QR6.0 per share).
The key driver of total assets growth was from loans and advances which grew by 5 percent to QR613bn ($168bn). This was mainly funded by customer deposits which increased by 5 percent to reach QR617bn ($169bn) from December 2017. QNB's strong asset liability management capabilities helped QNB Group to improve its loans to deposits ratio to99.3 percent as at 31December 2018.
Commenting on the Group's performance, Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa Acting Group Chief Executive Officer said: 'QNB demonstrated strong, sustainable and profitable growth, delivering a solid performance for 2018.
The Group's drive for operational efficiency is yielding cost-savings in addition to sustainable revenue generating sources. This helped QNB Group to improve the efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) to 25.8 percent, from 29.1 percent last year, which is considered one of the best ratios among large financial institutions in the region.
The ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans amounted to1.9 percent as at 31 December 2018, a level considered one of the lowest amongst financial institutions in the MEA region, reflecting the high quality of the Group's loan book and the effective management of credit risk. The Group's conservative policy in regard to provisioning resulted in the coverage ratio at 104 percent.
Total Equity increased by 12 percent from December 2017 to reach QR88bn ($24bn). Earnings per Share reached QR14.4 ($3.9), compared to QR13.7 ($3.8) in December 2017.
Group Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) as at 31 December 2018 amounted to 19.0 percent, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee. QNB Group successfully raised another QR10bn as Additional Tier 1 capital notes to support growth of the Group's activities and operations.
QNB Group remains a highly-rated bank, demonstrating a strength that continues to attract institutional, corporate and individual customers to bank with QNB, and for investors and markets to believe in the Group's strong financial position and strategy. During the year, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's have improved the Outlook to Stable. QNB remains the highest-rated bank in Qatar and one of the highest-rated banks in the world from the major rating agencies.
These ratings are a testament to our capital strength, governance, prudent risk management, business and operating model. This provides us with a competitive advantage to access global capital markets for wholesale funding and enables us to continue our growth and expansion plans in line with our strategy.
QNB Group serves a customer base of more than 23 million customers with more than 29,000 staff resources operating from more than 1,100 locations.