QFB launches First Metal Shari’ah-Compliant World Elite MasterCard Charge Card in MENA

QFB today announced the launch of the first Shari’ah-compliant metal ‘World Elite MasterCard Charge Card’ in Qatar and the MENA region.

Qatar First Bank (QFB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah-compliant bank regulated by QFC Regulatory Authority, today announced the launch of the first Shari’ah-compliant metal ‘World Elite MasterCard Charge Card’ in Qatar and the MENA region.

This highly exclusive metal QFB World Elite MasterCard Charge Card is accepted at more than 35.9 million outlets across more than 210 countries. It will be offered by invitation only. The card provides an innovative experience–based service platform for affluent customers and is packed with a host of high value benefits and rewards which include travel benefits, lifestyle concierge and insurance, among others.

A key feature of the QFB World Elite MasterCard Charge Card is the World Elite Affluent Gateway – a dedicated ‘one call’ gateway for tailored concierge services. Cardholders will also have access to over 600 airport lounges around the world, along with exclusive travel promotions and luxury retail shopping advantages. The QFB World Elite Card is a service proposition which introduces privileged dining, traveling and shopping experiences in addition to providing access to prestigious venues and global events.

One of the salient features of the newly introduced card is the donation of a percentage of each customer’s monthly spending to Qatar-based charities among these The Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF).

Emad Mansour, CEO, QFB commented: “We are proud to be the first bank to launch a Shari’ah-compliant metal charge card in Qatar and MENA. Affluent clients are now more sophisticated, and demand unique experiences in dining, travel or shopping. Our carefully-tailored proposition promises to take these experiences to the next level. Our QFB World Elite MasterCard Charge Card will allow our affluent clients to enjoy personalized offers, priority status and impeccable hospitality wherever they go. It is their passport to a richer and more exclusive lifestyle.”

Safdar Khan, Area Business Head, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, MasterCard commented, “This is the first metal payment card to be issued in the MENA region, and we are pleased to introduce this innovative product with QFB. Qatar is an important market for MasterCard, and we will continue to grow our Shari’ah- compliant offerings with financial institutions as we develop tailored payment solutions to suit consumers’ lifestyles in the country. The World Elite MasterCard cards have become synonymous with unparalleled benefits and offers across the globe, and we believe that affluent consumers in Qatar and across the region will find the offering equally rewarding.”

Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Network International, added: “We are delighted to partner with QFB, in its endeavor to meet the contemporary needs of its High Net Worth clients. This partnership further validates our ability to offer an unrivalled range of end-to-end payment solutions to our partner companies in the Middle East. We are confident that NI’s tailored services will add significant value to the bank’s potential clients. We look forward to a rewarding relationship with QFB and further broadening this partnership in the years to come.”

The introduction of this unique metal Shari’ah-compliant charge card is the first as QFB moves beyond investment banking to a Shari’ah-compliant financial institution offering a full suite of products and services. QFB will continue to play a focal role in investment banking. Since inception, QFB has managed to generate profits annually and pay progressive dividends to its shareholders.  QFB’s future plans include the introduction of further wealth management services, opening of its first iconic branch and listing on the Qatar Exchange.

Qatar Islamic Bank provides US$ 100 million financing facility to Qatar First Bank

QIB has signed a US$100 million murabaha facility with Qatar First Bank (QFB)

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the leading Islamic bank in Qatar, has signed a US$100 million murabaha facility with Qatar First Bank (QFB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant financial institution authorized by QFC Regulatory Authority.

The facility, which will be used to support QFB’s growth plans, is a multiple Murabaha structured facility with a three year tenor period.

Bassel Gamal, QIB’s Group CEO, added: “This financing agreement reflects the strong working relationship between the two banks. QIB has a strategic vision that aims to provide Islamic financing solutions to partners, such as QFB. It also aims to build partnerships based on common interest and continuous co-operation to achieve the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030, one of which is to build an even stronger economy.”

Qatar Islamic Bank has strengthened its presence in the market, gaining a 35% market share of the Islamic banking sector. The bank has successfully implemented its strategy to provide Shari’ah compliant financing solutions for large projects in the sectors of energy, industry, infrastructure, construction, and trade finance. QIB is committed to supporting strategic partners and contributing towards the growth of businesses in the local market, where the Bank has directed more than 90% of its financing portfolio domestically, thereby enhancing its reputation as the leading Islamic Bank in Qatar.

Emad Mansour, CEO of QFB, commented: “QFB is a fast growing bank with ambitious plans for further expansion. This facility will provide us with the necessary funding to further accelerate our growth and capitalize on the ample business opportunities in Qatar and our target markets. We thank QIB for their support and look forward to a long term relationship.”

QFB has grown rapidly since its launch in 2009, demonstrating a strong profit and dividend record. The bank has concluded 16 transactions, investing a total of QAR 1.5 billion, and profitably exited from four investments. Earlier this year QFB changed its name from Qatar First Investment Bank to reflect the its expansion beyond investment banking activities to become a full-fledged Shari’ah compliant institution offering a suite of financial products and services.

Qatar First Bank reports continued growth in 2012, as net income rises by 21% percent

QFB reported strong financial results and continued growth in 2012, as net income rose by 21 per cent

Qatar First Bank (QFB), Qatar’s first independent Shari’ah compliant bank regulated by the QFC Regulatory Authority, reported strong financial results and continued growth in 2012, as net income rose by 21 per cent from QAR 94 million (US$25.8 million) in 2011 to QAR 113.2 million (US$ 31.1 million) in 2012.  For the third consecutive year, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) ratified the distribution of a cash dividend. This year the AGM approved the distribution 7% of paid up share capital to QFB shareholders.

QFB, in its fourth full year of operation, invested a total of QAR 532.72 million (US$ 148 million) across the GCC, MENA, Turkey and in the United Kingdom, closing five deals in new geographies and sectors and exiting one of its largest portfolio companies in 2012. Earlier this year, the Bank announced its intention to float on the Qatar Exchange in the near future.

The bank’s audited financial results for 2012 were approved at its AGM held on 30th  May 2013 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Presenting an overview of QFB’s activities and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2012, Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, Chairman, QFB, commented: “2012 was another challenging year for the global economy as developed economies continued to struggle to solve their economic constraints and emerging markets’ growth was hampered.  Against this backdrop, the GCC economies continued to grow as they sought to diversify outside the hydrocarbon industry. Qatar has grown particularly strongly, boosted by extensive Government spending as it prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  During the year, QFB successfully made lucrative investments in new sectors and markets. QFB’s year-on-year growth over the past four years is a clear testament to our prudent strategy that has propelled the Bank towards becoming a regional investment player. Our long term prospects remain solid, driven by strong fundamentals. We will continue to maximize shareholder value and contribute to the economic growth of the region.”

Emad Mansour, Chief Executive Officer, QFB commented: “Despite global economic uncertainty, QFB has built on the successes of the last four years, establishing the bank as a market-leading and results-driven financial institution. During 2012, we have ventured outside our typical target markets and sectors, by investing in real estate in the United Kingdom and in the retail sector in Turkey. This is a reflection of our willingness to exploit opportunities, regardless of geography and sector, for the benefit of our investors and the future of the Bank. Although the global economic outlook remains challenging in 2013, we will continue to build on our solid track record, capturing market growth, broadening our expertise and delivering sound returns for our shareholders.”

The Shari’ah Supervisory Board Report and the Auditor’s Report for the year ended 31st December, 201 2 were also presented to the AGM.  The meeting also re-elected the Bank’s auditors for another period of twelve months.

Since its inception in March 2009, QFB has invested QAR 1.8 billion (US$493 million) across various sectors including energy, financial services, industrials, real estate and healthcare.

As part of its long-term strategic plan to become an independent Shari’ah-compliant financial institution offering a full suite of products and services, in March 2013, QFB changed its named from Qatar First Investment Bank and announced that it will launch its Wealth Management services to sit alongside its existing range of services which includes Principal Investments, Asset Management and Corporate Finance Advisory.

To offer its wealth management services, QFB will open its first branch in the third quarter of 2013, targeted at High Net Worth Individuals and designed to meet the full range of their banking, savings and investment needs