Qatar First Bank Holds Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting

Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al Thani: Qatar First Bank will continue implementing its business strategy with further commitment to improve its overall performance, balance sheet and liquidity position through the ongoing financial year

Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ) held its Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting (EGM) 12 April 2021.

The EGM was held virtually via Zoom, and was chaired by Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, QFB’s Chairman, with the attendance of the QFB’s board members, shareholders, and senior management team.

The EGM discussed and approved all items on its agenda, including the amended Articles of Association, in addition to authorizing the chairman to sign the approved amended Articles of Association to facilitate the registration of the amended Articles of Association with the relevant regulation authorities, including but not limited to Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA), and Qatar Central Securities Depository (QCSD). The EGM has also discussed and approved the Bank’s updated Corporate Governance Manual.

Addressing the Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al Thani, said:

“With the support of the members of the board and shareholders, and thanks to the dedication of all the management and employees of the Bank, Qatar First Bank will continue implementing its business strategy with further commitment to improve its overall performance, balance sheet and liquidity position through the ongoing financial year.”

“Qatar First Bank is better equipped to navigate the business challengers in light of the gradual economic recovery across the globe and the ongoing business implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar and around the world. We will certainly be successful in surpassing all these potential challenges while increasing our operational efficiency, rationalizing our expenditures, and working towards cementing our position as the leading Shari’ah compliant investment bank in Qatar.” concluded Sheikh Faisal.

Qatar First Bank’s Achieves QAR 20.6 million in Profit for the first quarter ended 31 March 2021

Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ) announced its financial results for the first quarter for the period ended on 31 March 2021.

The Bank has achieved a net profit attributable to shareholders of QAR 20.6 million, compared to a loss of QAR 191.6 million during the same period in 2020.

Qatar First Bank has also achieved significant gains from disposal of equity valued QAR 66.9 million resulting from income of sale of products and private equity investment exits being the main drives of these gains, mainly exiting investments in CMRC Limited in the first quarter of 2021.

QFB has also increased its other income sources by 355%, achieving QAR 7.7 million for the period ended 31 March 2021, compared to QAR 1.7 million for the same period last year.

In the first quarter of 2021, and thanks to its rigorous internal control on expenditure and rationalization of expenses, Qatar First Bank was successful in reducing its total expenses at a percentage of 45%, bringing costs down to QAR 22.7 million during the first quarter 2021 compared to QAR 41.75 million for the same period last year.

The Bank managed to increase its stable income sources from its Sukuk investments of at QAR 2.5 million for the period ended 31 March 2021, compared to QAR 1.4 million for the same  period last year. Earnings per share became positive at QAR 0,029 for the period ended 31 March 2021 compared to lost per share QAR 0,274 for the same period last year.

Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, Chairman of QFB said: “We are delighted with the performance of our bank during the first quarter of the ongoing financial year, and for concluding to consecutive profitable quarters within a global business atmosphere marked by uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“QFB’s strategic vision has proven its efficiency in being adaptive to all circumstances, and I would like to reiterate our commitment to achieving a leading position in the local market and beyond, and to continuously being the trusted Shari’ah compliant bank and investment partner in Qatar and region”

Mr. Abdulrahman Totonji, QFB’s Acting CEO said: “QFB has successfully concluded the first quarter of 2021 with a stronger balance sheet, and more diversified investment portfolio thanks to our adaptive business strategy which is continuously making us ready to navigate potential operational challenges in lights of a global pandemic.”

“We are happy to conclude the first quarter with a remarkable reduction in expenses, greater presence in global markets, namely the USA, while gradually reducing our dependence on limited markets and industries and detecting more profitable investment opportunities to guarantee our sustainable growth in line with QFB’s vison and business objectives.” concluded Mr. Abdulrahman Totonji.

During the first quarter of 2021, QFB also announced the completion of a series of successful transactions in the local, regional, and global markets. The Bank has announced its successful exit from its investment in the Middle East; CMRC Limited.

QFB has also completed the acquisition of Waterway Plaza I, a class A+ office tower spanning more than 223,0000 square foot located in suburban Houston, Texas, USA as the Bank’s first acquisition in the US for this financial year, in addition to acquiring Lulu Messila hypermarket building as part of its intention to establish a strong local presence in the Qatari Market.

Qatar First Bank Holds Annual General Assembly Meeting

Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al Thani: QFB improved its balance sheet and overall liquidity position in 2020 thanks to increasing operational efficiency and expenditures rationalization.

Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 5 April 2021.

Due to an incomplete quorum, QFB’s Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting (EGM) was adjourned to Monday 12 April 2021 at 3:30pm and will be held virtually via Zoom.

The Annual General Assembly Meeting (AGM) was held virtually via Zoom, and was chaired by Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, QFB’s Chairman, with the attendance of the Board members, Bank’s shareholders, and senior management team.

Addressing the Annual General Meeting, Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al Thani, said: “Qatar’s response to the pandemic-related challenges in 2020 was truly exceptional, having taken timely measures to navigate both economic and healthcare challenges wisely, while providing relief measures to all business sectors during these challenging times.”

Sheikh Faisal added: “QFB’s relentless efforts to implement strict internal controls, increase operational efficiency and rationalize expenditures, led to an improved performance, and in reducing overall expenses by 6.9%. In addition to a sustainable fee income stream, a drop in funding costs and with a better managed deposits book, have all helped improve the bank’s balance sheet and overall liquidity position.”

“QFB has successfully emerged with a clear vision, and a mission to continue to add value to our shareholders and clients. QFB’s judicious move to shift towards a new operating model that invests in risk-adjusted yield-generating investment products, has generated growth. Our products have helped investors to access the US real estate market through a shari’ah compliant platform which garnered an overwhelming response. The success achieved, and which reflects on all our financial indicators, comes as a result of our effective measures related to corporate governance, in addition to our clear strategic direction, and sourcing of profitable investments, as well as our prudent risk management and well-disciplined execution and monitoring processes.” concluded Sheikh Faisal.

In 2020, QFB continued to achieve strong growth for the year ending 31 December 2020, having managed to reduce its overall net loss by 24%. The bank recorded a net loss of QAR 226.7 million for 2020, compared with a QAR 298 million loss for 2019. QFB ended 2020 successfully by posting a net profit of QAR 1.2 million in its fourth quarter, with product fees and commissions being the main contributing factors.

The AGM discussed and approved all items on its agenda, in addition to the business plan for the financial year of 2021, as below:

    • AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENT AND EXTERNAL AUDITOR’S REPORT

The General Assembly approved the audited consolidated financial statement for the year ended on 31 December 2020 and approved the external auditor report.

      • ANNUAL REPORT

The General Assembly approved the annual report for the year ended on 31 December 2020.

      • DISCUSSION OF DIVIDEND AND OPTIONAL RESERVE

The General Assembly approved the recommendations of the Board of Directors regarding non-distribution of dividends and not taking an optional reserve for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.

      • RELEASE FROM LIABILITY OF THE DIRECTORS

The General Assembly approved discharging the Board of Directors of any liability in relation to their duties and responsibilities for the financial year ended 31 December 2020 and approved the board’s recommendation not to provide remuneration to the board for the same period.

      • CORPORATE GOVERNANCE REPORT

The General Assembly approved the annual corporate governance report for the period ended 31 December 2020, including the external auditors report on the effectiveness of the design, implementation, and operation of ICOFR and compliance with QFMA rules and regulations.

      • MAJOR TRANSACTIONS

The General Assembly approved major transactions report for the period ended 31 December 2020.

      • EXTERNAL AUDITOR

The General Assembly approved to renew the appointment of Ernst & Young as the Bank’s external auditor for the year of 2021 and approved their fees.

Qatar First Bank Launches Mobile Banking Application to Enhance Clients’ Banking Experience

The launch of QFB Mobile App comes in line with the Bank’s digital transformation strategy and in response of the investment and financial needs of QFB’s gowning client base in Qatar and abroad

The QFB Mobile App now allows clients to manage most of their investment needs remotely

Qatar First Bank (QFB), the first independent Shari’ah compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ), launched its mobile banking application; the QFB Mobile App, in line with its commitment to digitize its services and to offer its clients the most convenient channels to efficiently manage their investment and financial needs, from anywhere in the world and at any time.

The QFB Mobile App is the first banking application in Qatar to be hosted in Microsoft’s Azure cloud, the global cloud computing service that guarantees ultimate levels of security and data protection compliance for all users of the application in Qatar and around the world.

Commenting on the launch of the QFB Mobile App, Ayman Zaidan, Deputy CEO & CIO, said: “We are happy to announce the official launch of our first mobile banking application, in line with our ongoing efforts to digitize our services, and to offer all our clients the fastest and best channels to fulfill their investment needs at all times and from anywhere in the world.

The launch of the QFB Mobile App is indeed a milestone and testament to our commitment in implementing our digital transformation strategy, to continuously respond to the financial needs of our clients , and to cement our position as a leading Shari’ah compliant investment bank in Qatar.”

QFB clients will have access to their Investment portfolio, details, and balances, in addition to viewing all their transactions and profit earning history. The application also allows users to access their live and closed assets holdings, assets allocations and earnings key performance indicators related to their investments.

QFB clients can also submit all their outward transactions and general requests  to the Bank via the QFB Mobile App without any need to contact their relationship managers. The mobile application also allows QFB clients to get instant updates on the status of their investments dividends distribution, personalized offers and generate accounts and investments statements

Lana Khalaf, Country Manager, Microsoft Qatar, said: “Qatar is undergoing a major transformation across industries by harnessing technology to deliver smart experiences to citizens and residents in the state.

Being home to the region’s largest financial institutions, Qatar’s financial sector is reinventing itself with the power of Cloud & AI to continue paving the way of innovation regionally and globally. QFB’s latest mobile banking service is a testimony of the sector’s progressive vision to deliver next gen banking experiences to their customers with the Microsoft Cloud”

Mohammed Al Arrouqi, QFB’s Head of IT said: “The launch of our mobile banking application comes following a successful year for QFB in 2020, in which we saw a significant increase in our client base which imposed the need of a digital channel to enhance our clients digital experience. Microsoft Qatar, in collaboration with its partner Advancya, was able to empower Qatar First Bank in its digital transformation journey. QFB will continue working to enhance the functionalities of its various digital channels, and we will remain committed to offering the best investors’ experiences and services to all our clients in line with our ambitious business strategy and in response to all the needs of our clients in the digital area.

The app is available on App Store, Google Play, and Huawei AppGallery, and in both Arabic and English, the QFB Mobile App now provides QFB clients an alternative mean to relying on traditional banking channels to manage their transactions, investments and to communicate with their  relationship managers through the application .