Posted on June 21, 2011

QNB was selected for the 8th time as the ‘Best Bank in Qatar’ at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2011, which was held recently in Dubai. The selection is in recognition of QNB’s leading position and strong performance across all fundamental indicators. The Bank’s consistent growth across all activities was also a major consideration for winning the award.

QNB has steadily grown to be among the largest banks in the MENA region and is by far the leading financial institution in Qatar, holding almost 40% of the total banking assets in the country. Moreover on the regional scale, QNB is among the top financial institutions in terms of market capitalization and holds the largest total shareholders’ equity post the rights issue that was concluded in May 2011.

The Bank has the largest distribution network in Qatar, comprising 60 branches and more than 185 ATMs in addition to an expanding presence spanning more than 24 countries.

Among the considerations for the award was QNB’s ability to maintain the quality of its assets and credit portfolio. Led by an effective risk management framework, the Bank was able to maintain its non-performing loans ratio at 0.9% of the loan book by the end of December 2010, one of the lowest ratios in the region.

Capital Intelligence recently upgraded the Bank’s financial strength rating from A+ to AA- and affirmed all other ratings which are considered the highest in the region. This rating demonstrates the Bank’s strong financial position, systemic importance and its overall asset quality. QNB’s rating from leading international rating agencies including Standard & Poor’s, Capital Intelligence, Fitch and Moody's is the highest or on par with a small group of leading financial institutions in the region.

QNB’s profits growth was also noted. In the first quarter of 2011, the Bank recorded the highest profit level in the region with net profit surpassing QR1.7 billion ($469 million), increasing by 34.8% from Q1 2010. Total assets grew to QR242.7 billion, up 32.5% over Q1 2010, and loans and advances and financing activities grew to QR140.7 billion, up 19.5%. Customer deposits and unrestricted investment accounts also increased 36.4% to reach QR179.9 billion.

The Euromoney Awards for Excellence are among the most prestigious global awards for banking excellence. In addition to certified performance criteria, the judges utilize independent data available from BankScope, Bloomberg, Capital Intelligence, and Dealogic while choosing winners each year. The award is designed to review a wide range of qualitative and quantitative standards such as business volume, innovation, leadership, credit ratings, quality of assets and earnings, efficiency ratios and key performance indicators.

The Best Bank Award is given only to financial institutions having both commercial and retail banking capabilities, with the shortlist for the 2011 awards being judged on specific achievements between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2011. The Best Bank Award, which stands as an industry recognition of QNB's achievements in different banking services, also addressed capabilities of QNB Capital, the investment banking arm of QNB, particularly how investment banking and advisory services complement QNB’s overall reputation as the leading bank in Qatar.