Qatar First Bank announces 2018 year-end financial results

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.


QFB Board of Directors appoints Mr. Ali Al-Obaidly as CEO

Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) which is also a listed entity in Qatar Stock Exchange, announced today the appointment of eminent Qatari business and banking figure Mr. Ali Al-Obaidly as its CEO.

The Board welcomed the appointment of Mr. Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli as CEO of the bank in the context of a new board vision aiming to maximize shareholder rights. The Board also praised the new Chief Executive as a nationally recognized cadre who enjoy wide expertise in economic and administrative matters, and the Board is confident that its extensive and in-depth experience will enable it to improve performance and achieve positive results soon.

Commenting on his appointment, Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli, new CEO of QFB, said:

“I thank the Board of Directors for choosing me as QFB’s CEO at this critical stage of the bank’s growth period. I will work with the Board and the executive team over the coming period to formulate a new strategy for the Bank maximizing shareholders’ rights and putting the Bank on a profitable path again”

Then he added:

“I will be developing an investment and operational strategy covering the Bank’s business and investment portfolios, internal processes and organizational structure. This strategy will be presented to the Board of Directors soon for discussion, approval and implementation. The previous situation was a challenge for the Board and shareholders, but we will work together to rectify the process. I’m asking shareholders for support over this transitional and sensitive phase and fruits of their patience will be ripped soon.”

Prior joining QFB, Mr. Ali Al-Obaidly, was the Group CEO of Ezdan Holdings Group, one of the largest real estate developers in Middle East. During his tenure at Ezdan, he embarked several milestone achievements through local & international expansion and growth momentum in Group investments and returns. Mr. Ali being corporate leader with dual experience in local real estate and financial sectors will spearhead QFB executive team over this critical growth period. Over the next few months, he will closely associate with QFB board to develop the Bank strategy, business plan, restructuring of QFB existing investments and setting the new strategic investment directions with the main intention of maximizing shareholders’ return and offering value added investment opportunities and innovative Shariah-compliant financial solutions to the Bank’s client base. The new strategy shall focus on offering a variety of investment products for clients and on making a turnaround in QFB business model to attract local investment cadres and tap into local market opportunities.

Mr. Ali Mohammed Al-Obaidli holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Economics from Qatar University in 1989 and a Master’s degree in Financial Management from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. Over the course of his career and career that has exceeded 29 years, Mr. Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli held several key positions including GCEO of Ezdan Holding Group, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Widam Foodstuff Company, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nuzul Holding Company, and member of the Board of Directors of Ezdan Holding Group and its Managing Director. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of Barwa Real Estate Company, the Board of Directors of Qatar International Islamic Bank, Al Rayan Bank, Qatar First Bank and some Islamic insurance institutions, including Qatar Islamic Insurance and Al-Daman Insurance Company (Beema). Medical Care (Al Ahli Hospital) and other boards of directors of Gulf companies in various economic sectors. His career was characterized by the presentation of strategic vision that helped these institutions achieve their growth and expansion goals. In addition, Mr. Ali Mohammed Al Obaidli was named the second best executive in the Gulf region for 2017.