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Growth that reflects a robust economy

Article - November 26, 2012
Established in 1975, Commercialbank has invested in diversification and human capital, providing a strong foundation for growth
ANDREW STEVENS, CEO OF COMMERCIALBANK
Commercialbank, Qatar’s largest private sector bank, has recorded a profit every year since incorporation in 1975. Today, with Qatar’s economy expanding at a robust pace, Commercialbank’s sound business strategy and diversification are allowing it to share in that growth.

The bank’s results for the first nine months of 2012, showed a 4 percent increase in net profit over the same period the year before. Assets rose 8 percent, while loans and deposits grew 17 and 13 percent, respectively.

On their own, the results were unquestionably solid, but given that 2011 was the bank’s best year to date – with a 15 percent jump in profit – the figures are even more remarkable. His Excellency, Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, Chairman of Commercialbank reiterated his belief that Commercialbank’s success reflects the strength of Qatar’s economy and the bank’s strategic realignment within it.

 The Chairman said the bank has played an integral role in the growth and prosperity of Qatar for several decades, and that it remains committed to playing a central role in the development and diversification of Qatar’s economy. 

“Our affiliated banks in Oman and the UAE have, again, delivered outstanding financial performances. ”

Andrew Stevens,
CEO of Commercialbank
“Qatar’s economy has grown steadily in the third quarter, although at a slower rate than in the first half of the year, with demand for credit facilities continuing to be mainly from the Public Sector. Commercialbank has, however, successfully identified opportunities to grow its loan book and its revenues, delivering strong results for the first nine months of the year. We will look to maintain this momentum for the remainder of 2012,” he said.

Headquartered in Doha, Commercialbank has total assets of QR 76.4 billion ($20.98 billion) as of 30 September 2012. The bank offers a comprehensive range of financial services, including corporate, retail and investment services, as well as owning and operating exclusive Diners Club franchises in Qatar and Oman.

A strong capital base and decades of expertise have allowed Commercialbank to take a cutting-edge role in Qatari finance. The bank currently offers banking services through a network of 29 branches, 162 ATMs, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking and the largest EFTPOS network in the country. In 2011 the bank underwent a strategic realignment of its corporate and retail businesses and entered into the bancassurance market.

These decisions are now paying off, said Hussain Al Fardan, Commercialbank’s Managing Director. He added, “The operating environment in Qatar continues to be challenging but Commercialbank has delivered a positive performance in the year to date with higher earnings, growth in lending and strong asset quality. The bank remains well positioned for continued growth in the remainder of the year.”

A successful diversification strategy has also expanded Commercialbank’s GCC footprint through a 34.9 percent shareholding in National Bank of Oman (NBO) in Oman and a 40 percent shareholding in United Arab Bank (UAB) in the United Arab Emirates, both of which are strongly positioned to grow their businesses in their respective domestic markets. NBO is the second largest bank in Oman with 66 branches in that country along with three branches in Egypt and one in Abu Dhabi, while Sharjah-based UAB operates 15 branches across the emirates.

NBO and UAB contributed QR 190 million to Commercialbank’s net profit, according to the September report, a 12 percent increase from NBO and a 32 percent jump by UAB. Andrew Stevens, Commercialbank’s Group CEO, commented, “Commercialbank maintained the progress seen in the first half of the year to deliver a record nine month profit at 30 September 2012, and our affiliated banks in Oman and the UAE again delivered outstanding financial performances for the same period with strong growth in profitability and lending. For the remainder of 2012, we will continue to focus on growing our domestic corporate and retail businesses and developing the strength of our regional alliance.”

Commercialbank enjoys strong credit ratings of (A) from Fitch, (A1) from Moody’s and (A-) from Standard & Poor’s. The bank is listed on the Qatar Exchange and was the first Qatari bank to list its Global Depository Receipts as well as bonds on the London Stock Exchange.  Additionally, Commercialbank’s Swiss Franc bond issuance in December 2010, listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, was the first public bond issuance by a Qatari bank in Switzerland. In 2011, the bank was awarded the JP Morgan Quality Recognition Award for Operational Excellence for the seventh consecutive year.

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