Qatar National Bank, or QNB, is the Persian Gulf country’s biggest financial institution, with a market share approaching 40%. It was established in 1964 as Qatar’s first locally owned commercial bank, and is half-owned by the Qatar Investment Authority and half privately owned.
QNB has one of the country’s most complete offerings of financial services and products, including retail, corporate, investment, treasury, and wealth management products for individuals, companies and governments. The bank offers its clients the country’s biggest service network, which comprises more than 160 ATMs and 44 branches and offices.
QNB is not just expanding its presence into new markets in Qatar. The bank is adding branches and offices in cities around the world, such as London and Paris, with a presence in a total of 23 countries around the world, including Yemen, Oman, Kuwait and Singapore.
Opening offices in foreign cities is one method of expanding internationally used by QNB, another is buying stakes in other banks. QNB owns 34.3% of Jordan-based The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, 23.8% of Commercial Bank International in the UAE, and parts of lenders in Tunisia, Syria and other countries.
The bank’s expansion program has already paid off for its owners, producing strong profit and asset growth in recent years. The group’s net profit increased 35.8% in 2010 from a year earlier, reaching 5.7 billion Qatari riyals ($1.57 billion), while total assets rose 24.6% in the same period to 223.4 billion riyals ($61.4 billion).
Youssef Hussain Kamal, chairman of QNB Group’s board of directors, attributed last year’s excellent results to QNB’s non-stop growth both geographically and in its activities, as well as to the bank’s conservative approach to risk management.
QNB has been adding to its banking activities for many years now. QNB Capital, an investment banking unit that offers services to corporations, governments and other institutions, was established in 2008 and has already gained an excellent reputation for its extensive transaction experience, in-depth advisory services, and first-class research capabilities.
The parent bank’s solidity has been recognized by the international financial community, earning it some of the highest ratings in the region from credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch. QNB has also won many awards from specialized financial magazines for its innovative products and its outstanding economic performance.