QIIB is optimistic of achieving the targeted growth this year as the “market looks promising”, said bank chief executive officer Dr Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Shaibei.
“Qatar’s fundaments are very strong; the country’s budget for 2019 is very promising. We are very optimistic about 2019,” al-Shaibei told Gulf Times on Friday.
With expenditure estimated at QR206.7bn, the budget has an outlay of QR48bn for new projects this year, according to the Ministry of Finance. The new projects will boost economic growth in the country, especially in non-oil sectors.
The portfolio set for the committed projects is worth QR421bn.
On QIIB’s 2018 financial results, the CEO said, “Most of the earnings came from our core business-large corporates, small business and retail.”
QIIB posted a net profit of QR882.1mn in 2018, up 6% on the previous year.
The bank’s total assets amounted to QR50.3bn in end-2018 compared to QR46.6bn in end-2017.
Customer deposits at the end of 2018 reached QR31.1bn. The bank total equity stood at QR6.8bn while the capital adequacy under Basel III registered 16.42%, which reflects the strength of QIIB’s financial position amid various risks.
“The market in 2019 is promising. We believe we will reach the target the board has set for the bank,” Dr al-Shaibei said.
He said QIIB would continue to focus on opportunities to finance infrastructure projects – be it financing extended to main contractors directly or to sub-contractors.
On the mismatch normally seen between bank deposits and loans, al-Shaibei said, “It is always there in banking. Banks always try to overcome that mismatch by issuing conventional bonds or sukuk. These are meant to narrow the gap.”
Asked whether QIIB planned to foray into more overseas markets, he said, “Morocco was a new experience to us. So we will wait until our joint venture bank, Umnia progresses well there.”
Umnia Bank, which is a joint venture among QIIB, Credit immobilier et hotelier (CIH) and the Moroccan Deposit and Management Fund.
Besides its headquarters in Casablanca, Umnia Bank has rolled out many branches in various Moroccan cities.
On QIIB’s new branch at Ezdan Mall in Al Wakrah, he said, “This is our 19th branch in our nationwide network.
“It is a new milestone that reflects our expansion strategy in the local market. In this respect, we continue to focus on opening new branches at commercial malls across the nation as a natural response to the urban development and customer needs.”
“Today we are present at several commercial malls, namely, The Mall of Qatar, Doha Festival City, City Center, Ezdan Mall-Al Gharafa, and The Mall at Hilal. The inauguration of QIIB’s branch at Ezdan Mall-Al Wakrah adds value to the quality of our nation-wide branch network.”
Dr al-Shaibei pointed out that QIIB’s nationwide branch network has seen a restructuring over the last few years as part of a development strategy.
“At the same time we are at the forefront of innovation and adaptation of modern technology in delivering banking products and services to our valuable clients. The development of alternate channels, which are considered as virtual branches, enable our customers to execute the majority of banking transactions without the need to actually visit the Bank’s branches,” he added.