Qatar National Bank reports healthy liquidity position

The bank says it sees no big deposit outflows and continues to grow in profitability despite the Gulf crisis.

Cars drive past the building of Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Doha
QNB has a presence, directly or through affiliates, in more than 30 markets [Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters]

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest bank in the Middle East and Africa, has said no significant outflows of deposits have taken place since a diplomatic rift started between Qatar and four Arab countries.

The bank has a “robust” liquidity position and continued to generate growth in profitability, Reuters news agency quoted QNB as saying on Wednesday.

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“There are no significant outflows of deposits and other funds … except for business-as-usual rollovers or maturities,” QNB said.

QNB’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.7 percent at the end of March, compared with the minimum required by Qatar’s central bank of 14.8 percent.

“The group manages its liquidity very wisely and benefits from a diversified local and international funding base holding a global footprint across Europe, Asia, and MEA [Middle East, Africa], with a very minimal funding from the GCC markets,” it said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Three fellow GCC members, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, last week cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions on the country, which threatened to suck deposits from its banks and curb foreign investment.

But QNB gets 56 percent of its funding and 49 percent of its deposits from outside Qatar, according to Goldman Sachs.

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QNB, which is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, has a presence, either directly or through affiliates, in more than 30 markets including Egypt, Turkey, the UAE and several African countries.

The bank said it had not seen any impact on its overall group operations from its business in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

No reliance

QNB’s business in Egypt was fully independent from a funding perspective with no reliance on the group, it said.

In the UAE, it operates through Commercial Bank International, a 40 percent-owned affiliate, which it said had no direct business links to QNB. It said the contribution of CBI to QNB’s overall business was minimal.

QNB said its branch in Saudi Arabia was in a start-up phase. The bank last month inaugurated a branch in the Saudi capital of Riyadh offering retail and corporate banking services.

QNB also planned to apply for an investment banking licence in Saudi Arabia, QNB Group Chief Executive Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari said last month.

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Source: Reuters