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