* Commercial Bank is committed to championing Qatar’s position as a place for innovative world-class banking solutions in the region, says chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali bin Jabor al-Thani
Reflecting a positive business momentum, Commercial Bank Group posted a half-yearly net profit of QR1.33bn, up 47.3% on the same period in 2020.
The bank's total assets stood at QR162.1bn at the end of the first half that ended in June, up 12.8% on the same period last year.
Customer loans and advances totalled QR100.6bn in H1, up 15.6% on the same period last year.
Customer deposits increased by 6% to QR82.3bn in June, compared to QR77.7bn in H1, 2020. Low cost deposits have increased by 23.1% due to the various cash management initiatives and digital products that the bank offers.
Commercial Bank chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali bin Jabor al-Thani said, “Qatar’s economy is expected to enter a period of accelerated growth, supported by a robust policy response from the government to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19, the expansion of LNG production capacity and the upcoming football World Cup.
“At Commercial Bank, we are committed to championing Qatar’s position as a place for innovative world-class banking solutions in the region. During Q2 2021, we received the “Visa Global Service Quality Award 2020” and the “Most Innovative Customer Service Bank for 2021” from International Finance Magazine; both awards being testament to our continuous efforts to providing the latest, most innovative banking solutions to our customers.”
Commercial Bank’s vice chairman Hussain Alfardan said, “We continue to see strong investor confidence in our business. The resilience of our business strategy and our continued focus on prudent risk management was recognised by Moody’s which re-affirmed our ‘A3’ rating for long-term deposits with a stable outlook for the long-term.
“We look forward to seeing growing investor demand in the region with the continued rollout of vaccines and further stabilisation of markets to normal levels.”
The group’s net provisions for loans and advances increased by 84.4% to QR415.2mn for the half year that ended in June, from QR225.2mn in the same period in 2020. The increase in provisions was mainly due to continued prudent provisioning.
The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio decreased to 4.1% in June compared to 5% in June 2020. The loan coverage ratio was at 112.1% in H1, up from 90% in June 2020.
Commercial Bank Group's balance sheet increased by 12.8% in June with total assets at QR162.1bn, compared to QR143.7bn in June 2020. The increase was mainly due to loans and advances.
All three rating agencies have affirmed Commercial Bank’s ratings with a ‘stable’ outlook.
Commercial Bank’s group chief executive officer Joseph Abraham commented, “Commercial Bank continued to deliver positive results for the six months that ended on June 30, 2021, reporting consolidated net profit of QR1.3bn, up 47.3% compared to the same period last year, which reflected positive business momentum and also impairments of UAB in the comparative period last year which impacted results. The positive business growth was reflected in operating profit before provisions which increased by 11.6% to QR1.7bn for H1, 2021.
“Profit before associates and taxes increased by 2.4% to QR1.3bn during the period, contributing positively to our earnings for the first half of 2021. We continue to focus on improving the performance of our associates by driving operational efficiencies.
“Group net interest income increased by 13.3% to QR1.8bn compared to the same period last year. The improvement was driven by asset growth and a strong focus on net interest margins which continued to improve from 2.4% to 2.6% particularly through effective management of our cost of funds.
“Normalised total fees and other income for the Group was QR505mn, a decrease of 2.8% compared to the same period last year primarily due to challenging market conditions in Turkey, impacting our subsidiary, Alternatif Bank.
“The domestic bank reported a 15.3% increase in total fees and other income on a normalised basis, driven by a recovery in our investment income.
“On a normalised basis, the Group's cost to income ratio improved to 25.3% in H1 compared to 26.5% for the same period last year, which enabled us to increase our income whilst maintaining a stable cost base.
“Net provisioning increased by 50.2% to QR444.6mn, compared to the same period last year mainly on account of continued prudent provisioning which has further improved the NPL coverage ratio to 111.2% compared with 90% for the comparative period, despite lower recoveries in H1 as compared to H1, 2020.
“Our associate banks NBO and UAB contributed positively to our earnings for the first half of 2021. We continue to focus on improving the performance of our associates by driving operational efficiencies.”
“Alternatif Bank returned to profit during Q2, 2021 which reduced the Q1, 2021 loss of QR20.7mn, which was caused by interest rate volatility to a lower loss of QR13.8mn for H1, 2021.”