Strong lending growth drives up Qatar Islamic Bank’s Q2 profit

The Islamic lender made a net profit of 389.6 million riyals ($107 million) during the three months to June 30

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Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the Gulf state’s largest sharia-compliant lender by assets, posted a 15 percent jump in second-quarter net profit on Monday, according to Reuters calculations, helped by strong lending growth.

Fierce competition has resulted in many Qatari banks looking abroad to expand their operations and earnings potential, but they are still benefiting as Qatar, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, spends billions of dollars on infrastructure and preparations to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup.

The Islamic lender made a net profit of 389.6 million riyals ($107 million) during the three months to June 30, Reuters calculated, compared with 338.9 million riyals in the same period a year ago.

The result beat analysts’ expectations, with the average forecast in a Reuters poll at 348.8 million riyals net profit for the period.

QIB did not provide a quarterly breakdown so Reuters calculated the figure based on previous financial statements.

Net profit for the first six months of the year also rose 15 percent year-on-year, to 725 million riyals, a statement from the bank said.

Total lending jumped 32 percent year-on-year to stand at 54.5 billion riyals at the end of the second quarter. That built on the strong growth posted in the first quarter, when net profit also grew by 15 percent, backed by higher lending.

Deposits, which also posted a significant increase in the first quarter, climbed 33 percent to stand at 61.3 billion riyals, with the growth helping the bank to “significantly improve its liquidity position”, the statement said.

QIB said in March it had entered into exclusive talks with Bank Asya about acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender. However, sources told Reuters earlier this month these exclusive talks had ended.

Bank Asya has said the report that the talks had ended did not reflect the truth, but QIB has yet to comment on the matter.

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