Qatar First Bank welcomed visitors and media representatives to the bank’s private banking lounge Banner

Qatar First Bank welcomed visitors and media representatives to the bank’s private banking lounge

Qatar First Bank L.L.C. (QFB), a leading Shari’ah compliant bank based in Qatar offering investment opportunities and innovative financial solutions with local, regional and international reach, welcomed visitors and media representatives at its private banking lounge, in light of the imminent listing on the Qatar Stock Exchange on April 27th. The event presented an open platform to showcase a summary of the bank’s history and financial performance in addition to the most recent milestones shaping the bank’s future. The gathering was hosted by QFB’s Chairman, Mr. Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, QFB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ziad Makkawi, and attended by the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Financial Center (QFC), Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida.

Speaking at the event, QFB’s Chairman Mr. Abdulla Bin Fahad Bin Ghorab Al Marri, said:

“Our listing on the QSE was always a top priority, and we are proud to deliver on this promise to our shareholders who have supported us all these years and to the Qatar market in general. It is an opportunity to broaden our shareholder base and offer new investors an opportunity to join us for the next phase of our journey.”

He added: “This significant milestone – the first listing of a Qatari entity licensed by the QFC and the first listing for a private entity in 6 years – will enable us to continue exploring and evaluating new opportunities that contribute positively to our shareholders value.”

He concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the QFMA and QSE leaderships, as well as their respected team members, for all their efforts in making this listing a reality. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with them to further strengthen Qatar’s financial market position.”

For his part, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, QFC Authority CEO, said:

“QFB’s listing on the Qatar Exchange marks an unprecedented success for the QFC. QFB is our first licensed firm to go public and I am confident that this milestone will trigger more listings. The QFC remains committed to providing the right support to facilitate the success of its firms and empower its business community to further develop Qatar’s financial services sector.”

QFB’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ziad Makkawi, noted:

“The listing will offer QFB the opportunity to join the rest of the banking community on the QSE, this will allow us greater visibility, tap into new client segments, and empowerment to deliver on our business plan.”

He added: “the transformation of QFB from an investment focused to an investor focused entity will continue across our main business lines: corporate & institutional banking, private banking & wealth management, treasury & investments, as well as alternative investments with a focus on private equity and real estate.”

He concluded: “We are in a new phase of growth for the bank, and the credibility associated with the listing will support us in this effort.”

QFB was established as one of the first independent Shari’ah compliant financial institutions licensed by the Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority, on September 4, 2008. The Bank’s authorized capital amounts to QR 2.5 billion and the issued and paid up capital is QR 2 billion. Since its establishment, QFB has benefited from a strong shareholder base; 50.49% represents institutional investors including banks, pension and governmental funds, and corporates from different business sectors, and 49.51% represents individual investors including high-net-worth individuals from Qatar and across the wider spectrum of the GCC region.

QFB income generating businesses offer innovative Shari’ah compliant solutions ranging from corporate & institutional banking, private banking & wealth management, treasury & investments, as well as alternative investments with a focus on private equity and real estate. Between 2010 and 2014, net income grew at a 19.4% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate). Despite the volatile market conditions and uncertainties, and the management investment decisions to grow and expand the bank’s offerings and product ranges, QFB maintained a strong financial performance in 2015 with a total income of QAR 336.5 million and a net income of QAR 66 million. Total assets have grown over the past three year (3Y CAGR 38.7%) driven mainly by the Bank’s new strategy of focusing on enhancing its banking operations to include deposit taking and lending facilities. The key growth drivers of total assets in FY15 were cash and cash equivalents, investments carried at amortised cost (sukuk) and financing assets led by the increase in deposits.

Source: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements

Since establishment QFB has strived to maximize return on shareholders’ investment and has participated in more than 20 transactions as of December 2015 of which seven have been successfully exited and generated attractive returns to shareholders.

Additionally, QFB has closed a number of successful transactions across Qatar, the GCC, Turkey, UK, and other cities in various sectors including healthcare, energy, consumer, finance, real estate, industrial and insurance sectors with c. QAR 1.3 billion in invested capital. The carrying value of these investments as of December 2015 was in excess of QAR 1.8 billion.

Strong asset growth

Source: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements

Building on its successful investments, the Bank expanded its offering to banking services resulting in substantial growth in assets at 39% CAGR between 2012 and 2015 to c. QAR 5.9bn.

QFB’s upcoming plans stand on major developments during 2015, which included the unveiling of its new brand which encapsulates its commitment to delivering excellence, the launch of its exclusive Private Banking business line, symbolized by the opening of its lounge. This new activity provides innovative wealth management solutions at the highest standards of governance and transparency.

Reaping the benefits of the Bank’s strategy and successful results across all business lines, QFB has been exclusively named 2016’s ‘Best Up-and-Coming Islamic Financial Institution’ in Global Finance magazine’s ninth annual awards for the World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions. Additionally, the bank’s Alternative Investments division has been awarded ‘Best Shari’ah Alternative Investment Platform 2016’ from Wealth & Finance International Magazine Alternative Investments Awards marking the hard work and efforts of the QFB team. Finally, The Asset, Asia’s leading financial publication for issuers and investors, honored QFB the awards of ‘Bank of the Year, Qatar’ and ‘Best Private Bank, Qatar’ from The Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Awards 2016. The esteemed internationally recognized awards came on the heels of QFB’s several milestones across its businesses during 2015.

Looking ahead, QFB’s management envisions that the global economic backdrop will remain challenging specifically as the GCC region adjusts to lower oil prices and slowing economic growth. In spite of these challenges, the bank will continue adopting an opportunistic outlook to source viable investment opportunities that surface in such market conditions in order to generate sound returns for the Bank and create value for shareholders. The long awaited listing of QFB is bound to have a positive impact as the QFB brand gains more credibility and a wider recognition.

QFB continues to have an attractive pipeline of deals targeted for completion during 2016 and 2017. The team of banking professionals continue focusing on identifying and seizing new, attractive opportunities, deliver excellence for both private and corporate clients, build a strong brand, and provide shareholders with robust returns.