Qatar First Bank L.L.C. (Public) “QFB”, a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar, regulated by QFCRA and listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018, reporting a net loss of QAR 482 million.
Key highlights for the year being Total Income (excluding disposal loss and loss on fair value remeasurement of equity investments) showed a growth momentum with an increase of 24.1% at QAR 222 million, as compared to QAR 178 million of previous year. This was mainly driven by the fee income from the structured products and a reduction of 26% in returns to unrestricted investment account holders (the cost of funding) due to the better management of its loan to deposit ratio.
QFB’s management continued to raise its efficiency through the implementation of its cost rationalization plan that resulted in reduction of total expenses of the bank by 10%, as compared to the previous year. This was mainly driven by reduction in staff cost by 18% and other operating expenses by 16%.
Treasury and Investment arm has initiated an ambitious plan to continue increasing the assets under management through multiple deal-by-deal transactions and direct sourcing, structuring and placement of these deals. The asset and liability management desk continues its offering of innovative products and solutions to the Qatari Corporate client base while adhering to prudent liquidity management measures that enables the Bank to maintain its cost of funding and generate positive net profit margins.
The Bank also reported a disposal loss and loss on fair value remeasurement of equity investments of QAR 331 million during the year, compared to QAR 119 million in the previous year. This was mainly driven by global and regional headwinds resulting in prevailing market uncertainties that affected the performance of the Bank’s Alternative Investments portfolio.
Despite the challenges faced by the Bank previously, we look forward to the future today with positive considered forecasts. In 2018, the Bank underwent a comprehensive exercise to identify weaknesses and strengths. The exercise revealed internal strategic capabilities that, in private banking and real estate investment that could over a competitive edge that would enhance future returns in search of lucrative business opportunities that would have a positive impact on the Bank’s future growth.