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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Qatar National Bank Q3 profit surges to a record

Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar's largest lender by market value, topped analysts' forecasts with a record profit in the third quarter as it diversified its revenue sources.

The lender's third-quarter profit was 1.14 billion riyals ($313 million), up 75.7 percent from the year-earlier period, according to a calculation by newswire Reuters based on the bank's financial data.

Net income in the nine months to Sept 30 rose 62.2 percent to 3 billion riyals compared with 1.85 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the lender said in a statement, without giving the quarterly figure.

QNB's results for the first nine months of 2008 are a reflection of the sustained growth in activities across business lines in Qatar and abroad," Chief Executive Ali Al-Emadi said in the statement.

Nine-months net interest income and income from financing activities advanced 41.7 percent to 2.05 billion riyals and net fees and commissions increased 38.7 percent to 779.70 million riyals, the bank said.

Net gains from dealing in foreign currencies grew 82.5 percent to 249.90 million riyals, it added.

Analysts' forecasts in a Reuters survey last month for the third-quarter profit ranged from 832.88 million riyals to 967.80 million riyals.

Fuelled by an almost four-fold rise in oil prices since 2002, lenders in the Gulf Arab region have being expanding overseas.

QNB has acquired a 50 percent stake in the Tunisian-Qatari bank and bought a 23.8 percent stake in the United Arab Emirates-based Commercial Bank International

It has a 33.2 percent stake in Jordan's Housing Bank for Trade and Finance .

The bank made 1.86 billion riyals in the first half of this year and 648.90 million riyals in the third-quarter of last year.

The bank's shares lost almost 18 percent this year.

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