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News : QFB announces third quarter results

‘- Revenue increased by 39% to QAR 491 million
– Recorded Net Profit of QAR 3.4 million
– Total assets increased by 16% to QAR 6.8 billion in the first nine months

Qatar First Bank L.L.C. (Public), a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar and listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), has released its financial results for the third Quarter recording revenue increase by 39% to QAR 491 million, versus same period in 2015, and net profit to QAR 3.4 million.

Mr. Ziad Makkawi, Chief Executive Officer, QFB said:

“As the global investment market continues to go through major challenges, QFB was able to record revenues of QAR 491 million and net profit of QAR 3.4 million. We envision that the global economic backdrop will remain challenging for the remainder of this year; however, we will continue to push ahead to develop innovative financial solutions and source attractive investment opportunities for our individual and institutional clients.”

Since the beginning of 2016, QFB has been witnessing solid achievements marked by listing the bank’s shares on the Qatar Stock exchange, following the approval of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). Following this significant milestone, QFB announced the development of an innovative open architecture Private Banking platform offering shareholders and clients the opportunity to select from a wide range of investment opportunities and innovative financial solutions to grow, manage and protect their wealth and assets.

Makkawi added: “We are transforming from being an investment focused to an investor focused entity. This is being reflected in the continued development of our Shari’ah compliant offering across all business lines. The development of our pioneering open architecture platform, backed by a talented and highly experienced team, will meet the individual changing needs of our clients.”

Leveraging the in-house and international breadth of investment solutions and structuring capabilities, QFB announced the placement of the ‘Ijarah Aviation Structured Product’ that was met with great enthusiasm by individual and institutional clients. The Shari’ah compliant product offered an investment in a relatively stable sector providing an annual cash return of 9% to be paid to clients on quarterly basis.

Makkawi, said: “We have seen an overwhelming response from the market. Our Ijarah product is one of a series of innovative Shari’ah compliant structured solutions that we will be bringing to the market, and it demonstrates the bank’s strong capabilities and commitment to meeting individual and corporate clients’ needs.”

QFB continued to strengthen its international reach and develop deeper access to key markets. After announcing the completion of 7-12 Leinster Square, a residential real estate development in Leinster Square – London W2, the bank 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.

Makkawi commented: “By partnering with internationally recognized entities, we will have the opportunity to expand our reach and offer shareholders, as well as private, corporate and institutional clients, tailored solutions at the highest standards of services possible.”

Business Update

Despite regional financial markets continuing to operate at restrained levels, all of the Bank’s revenue-generating business lines have positioned themselves to capture new business and solidify relationships with existing clients.

On the Alternative Investments front, QFB’s current investment portfolio is performing well. The department continues to assess opportunities to maximise value from these positions. QFB’s portfolio includes:

  • English Home, QFB’s Turkey-based home textile chain, expanded its geographic footprint, increasing its number of stores in Turkey and internationally.
  • Al Wasita Emirates for Catering and Services, QFB’s subsidiary, successfully increased its capital from existing shareholders and strengthen the company’s financial position for further expansion.
  • Food Services Company continued to deliver good results while expanding within Qatar.
  • David Morris, London-based luxury jeweller, continued the implementation of its expansion plans in Paris and Qatar.
  • Memorial Health Group continued to record progress in the construction of its new hospital in Bahçelievler – Istanbul.
  • Leinster Square – London W2, QFB’s second real estate development in London, has seen an increase in demand post Brexit, with only one 3-bedroom lateral apartment and four townhouses remaining for investment.
  • FutureCard, a leader in the design and manufacturing of smartcards, was rated the 14th largest producer of EMV payment cards globally and 1st in the Middle East, according to a recently issued Nilson report.  FutureCard continues to be an active player in all smartcards areas including ID, loyalty, transport and SIM, leveraging upon a diversified client base that includes more than 500 active customers across all 6 continents and led by a new industry-experienced management team.

QFB’s Alternative Investments division is well positioned to provide capital solutions to growing businesses in the region that will benefit from the bank’s experience and the network in Qatar and abroad.

Makkawi commented: “With investors being on a quest for more creative ways to maximize their returns, our team of alternative investment professionals is constantly refining and developing its services to honor investors’ ever-changing needs and exceed clients’ expectations. The team has developed its current platform to offer private equity expertise to investor clients. In parallel, we will continue to diversify our portfolio and focus on business services, healthcare, education and real estate sectors while expanding into new geographical markets regionally and internationally.”

On the Corporate & Institutional Banking front, QFB’s team has been able to maintain a growing portfolio offering clients a wide range of Shari’ah compliant financing products and liability solutions including Wakala, Murabaha, Ijara, Istisna’a and others. The Bank’s client base encompasses government, private and public entities belonging to a diverse set of economic sectors such as trading, manufacturing, healthcare, private equity, retail, real estate and contracting, etc. The team has not only been able to grow the Bank’s local asset and liability book, but has also successfully established footprints in the regional GCC market via lucrative syndicate deals. During this year, the bank has grown its liability book by more than 10% to QAR 3.37 billion  reflecting investors’ confidence in the bank. Despite the volatile market conditions the Bank has also grown its financing portfolio by around 31% to QAR 1.45 billion during 2016. To further strengthen QFB’s position and expand the client base, the Bank’s team is heavily involved in product development and service improvement. Additionally, the team successfully added a new revenue stream by placing investment products with their corporate clients; demonstrating the synergies between departments – a hallmark to QFB’s strategy.

On the Private Banking & Wealth Management front, QFB’s pioneering open Shari’ah compliant architecture platform, continued to be supported by a growing team of bankers and international network of partners. The latter, empowers client centric approach whereby the investment advice is personalized to the financial goals and risk profile of both individual and corporate clients. QFB has signed several agreements with internationally recognized players expanding its range of offerings to cover financing, investments, trusts, foundations, advisory, real estate planning, and statement consolidation. The team has increased its booking business, expanded its services across major cities in the region, solidified relationships with existing clients, and generated fee income from HNWI and private family offices.

On the Treasury & Investments front, the department continued to focus on liquidity optimization through the interbank market and money markets. Additionally, the team was actively involved in investing and managing the Bank’s Sukuk book which continued to grow and perform well.. In its product offering capacity, the team sourced, structured and placed its first Ijara Aviation Fund with the objective to extend the current range of innovative Shari’ah compliant offerings to clients, while focusing to meet the changing needs and wants of shareholders, private and institutional clients. The department has already over achieved its financial targets for the year. The Treasury will continue to grow and develop its capabilities with a concentration on developing in-house products during next year and offer attractive products linked to several sectors including Real Estate and Aviation.

Makkawi added: “Despite challenging global economic conditions, regional market volatility and geopolitical tension, we continued to implement our strategy recording to an increase in revenues and in the range of Shari’ah compliant services.

Reaping the awards

Reaping the benefits of the ambitious strategy and efficiency optimization plan, QFB went on a winning streak of awards and recognitions:

  • ‘2016 Best Up-and-Coming Islamic Financial Institution’ by Global Finance magazine at the ninth annual awards ceremony during the IMF in Washington DC.
  • ‘2016 Best Shari’ah Alternative Investment Platform’ by Wealth & Finance magazine.
  • ‘2016 Bank of the Year, Qatar’ and ‘2016 Best Private Bank, Qatar’ by the Asset magazine.

Makkawi added: “As the global investment market continues to go through major challenges, we will continue to invest in the bank’s future. Our stronger team equipped with a unique combination of knowledge and regional execution capabilities, as well as a healthier and more efficient balance sheet, will grow the business, expand the offerings, and provide a ‘Signature of Excellence’.”

I would like to thank our board of directors, headed by our Chairman Mr. Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri, for their continued support.” Makkawi concluded: “

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