DOHA: Qatar First Bank , a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar and listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), has recorded revenues of QR185m and a loss of QR76.7m for the 6-month period ended June 30, 2017.
Ayman Zaidan, Head of Treasury and Investment Management, said: “As the global investment market continues to go through major challenges, QFB recorded revenues of QR185m and a loss of QR76.7m. 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 products for our individual and institutional clients.”
Despite these challenging economic factors that continue to have influence on the bank’s investment book, QFB total assets slightly decreased by 5.5 percent from the year end, and closed at QR5.6bn. Moreover, the investment portfolio continued to generate healthy dividends recording an income of QR7.5m. QFB’s Sukuk book also continued to generate positive returns resulted in an income of QR13.6m which is close to the same period of 2016. Furthermore, the bank’s income from placement with financial institutions has increased by 24 percent, compared to the first half of same period, mainly from cash deployment in Shari’ah compliant money market funds. Additionally, the bank’s income from financing assets increased by 28.3 percent, compared to the same period of 2016, recording additional income of QR9.0m.
In line with the results and the changes instituted during 2017, QFB’s management continued raising efficiency levels through the implementation of the cost rationalisation plan that resulted in a reduction of the expenses by 19.4 percent compared to same period of 2016.
On the private equity front, QFB’s investments in the healthcare sector have shown positive momentum during first half of 2017. With regards to Memorial Healthcare Group, one of Turkey’s largest premier hospital chain, healthy growth has been achieved on both the revenue and EBITDA levels and benefiting from a relatively stable currency fluctuation.
QFB’s Turkish and UK investments, which were previously impacted by currency fluctuations and country-specific events, continued to be stable with slight improvements on the UK side. The team will continue to successfully manage the existing portfolio, as well as seeking out new lucrative opportunities. Besides, the management hopes that the portfolio will perform well in the years to come.
On the private bank front, despite economic challenges QFB increased financing assets by 3 percent compared to year end 2016 and has formed a stable deposit base which stood at QR2.8bn.
Sulaiman Al Hashimi, Chief Business Officer, said: “In line with our strategy, QFB will continue to optimise the existing investment portfolio book with the objective of maximizing value to shareholders and clients; to reinvest the proceeds in lucrative opportunities that will contribute positively to the bank’s returns.”
“Looking ahead we envision that the global economic backdrop will remain challenging. In spite of these challenges we will continue adopting an opportunistic outlook to source viable investment opportunities that surface in such market conditions in order to generate sound returns for the Bank, our clients and shareholders”, Al Hashimi added.