(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shariah-compliant lender authorised by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, has made net profit of QR1.2mn in the fourth quarter of 2020. The bank ended the year strong by posting a net profit in the fourth quarter with product fees and commissions being the main contributing factors, thus helping it reduce the overall 2020 net loss by more than 24%, a bank spokesman said.
The QFB's efforts to implement strict internal controls, increase operational efficiency and rationalise expenditures led to the improved performance and a 6.9% reduction in overall expenses.
In addition to a sustainable fee income stream, a drop in funding costs along with a better managed deposits book helped improve the bank's balance sheet and overall liquidity position.
A testament to its accelerated growth, QFBs share price outperformed the market, delivering greater value to its shareholders and investors base.
'Despite Covid-19's negative impact on investor confidence, QFB's performance in 2020 improved and is heading in the right direction... Our vigilant measures on corporate governance, clear strategic direction, sourcing of profitable investments, prudent risk management framework and a well-disciplined execution are bearing fruit, said Sheikh Faisal bin Thani al-Thani, QFB chairman.
The lender remains focused on executing its adaptive strategy while implementing its well-disciplined approach to managing investments and liquidity in order to drive sustainable growth and value creation.
The bank's investment arm performed 'exceptionally well during 2020 acquiring a stream of high-quality real estate assets and was a driving force behind its fourth quarter profit, it said.
These assets received an 'overwhelmingly positive response from investors with most investment products being fully subscribed in a matter of days, the spokesman said.
Highlighting that the transformation the bank underwent as the new management took reins yielded very positive results; he said, "looking ahead, QFB intends to cement its position as a leading investment product provider in Qatar focused on delivering innovative financial solutions."
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