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Qatar First Bank L.L.C. (Public) “QFB”, a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar and listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017.
QFB investment portfolio continued to generate healthy dividends (QAR 25.5 million) which constitute double the income generated in 2016. furthermore, the bank’s income from financing assets increased by 18.3%, compared to 2016, recording an additional income of QAR 12.6 million and the financing assets will generate recurring income during the coming years. Also, the bank’s income from placement with financial institutions stood at QAR 25.6 million mainly derived from cash deployment in Shari’ah compliant money market funds. QFB recorded a revenue of QAR 334.2 million and a net loss of QAR 269.3 million for the year-end 2017 resulting mainly from the downward revision of the valuations of some of the Bank’s investments across several markets.
Moreover, the bank sold its stake in Amanat Holding, a Dubai based-listed healthcare and education company and generated overall cash returns of QAR 25.6 million.
In line with the results and the changes instituted during 2017, QFB’s management continued raising efficiency levels through the implementation of the cost rationalization plan that resulted in a reduction of the staff expenses by 10.8% and other operating expenses by 20.7% with an overall reduction of the expenses by 7.8% compared to 2016. The expenses expected to be reduced further in coming years as it will have full year impacts of the cost initiatives measures.
Ayman Zaidan, Head of Treasury & Investment Management, said: “We continue on rerouting and fully matching QFB with the evolution of Qatar and the wider region’s investment direction to access lucrative investment opportunities.”
Whilst the current volatility in the global markets has impacted the bank’s business, QFB continued to successfully manage its existing portfolio, as well as seeking out new lucrative opportunities. The management is confident that they will perform well in the years to come.
He further added: “QFB’s strategy focuses on our role as a trusted advisor, a gateway for investors who wish to tap into innovative, Shari’ah compliant, investment opportunities in local, regional and global markets. We will continue to diversify our portfolio, tapping into new and attractive geographical markets. We are well positioned to provide capital solutions to growing businesses in the region, utilizing our expertise and network. We look to partner with market leaders, private and institutional investors, attracting third party money with the objective to create value while following international best practices and the highest levels of corporate governance.”
Over the previous year, QFB has leveraged on the in-house and international breadth of investment solutions and structuring capabilities to offer an attractive range of products and services. The bank announced the placement of the ‘Ijarah Aviation Structured Product’ that was met with great enthusiasm by individual and institutional clients. Additionally, the bank’s team of professionals catered clients with a wide range of investment opportunities and innovative financial solutions to grow, manage and protect their wealth and assets.
Besides, QFB, after the completion of its second residential project in London, announced offering specialised real estate services to individuals and corporates seeking to add value to their portfolios by owning, occupying and investing in real estate across the world. The bank also continued to focus on liquidity optimization through the interbank market and money markets. Also, the team was actively involved in investing and managing the Sukuk book which continued to perform well and growing its private equity deal pipeline.