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Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammed bin Jabor Al Thani (left), Chairman, Doha Bank; and Sheikh Abdul Rehman bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani, Managing Director, during the bank’s Annual General Meeting yesterday. (Abdul Basit)
By Nasser Al Harthy
Doha: Doha Bank says the closure of its Islamic arm wouldn’t affect its profitability as it would still be free to invest in Shariah-compliant avenues.
“There are opportunities to invest. Still we can invest and grow long-term value generation out of Islamic finance,” the bank’s CEO, R Seetharaman, said.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of Doha Bank’s AGM yesterday, he said contract financing was its forte and it would focus more on it for added growth.
“We are number one in contract financing in the country,” he said. Doha Bank has cross-border operations as well, in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Dubai for instance. “So these are the options we have and we will grow in those directions.
“It is our desire to make sure that we can invest. It doesn’t prevent us from investing in Shariah-based finance,” Seetharaman said of the central bank’s decision to close Islamic operations of all conventional banks by the year-end.
Asked whether his bank had any acquisition plans this year, he replied in the negative, but hinted that options were open and if good opportunities arose at a later stage, the bank will definitely go for it. “So far the organic growth is what we have practiced,” he added.
Doha Bank has achieved high growth rates in all financial indicators in 2010 with total assets rising to QR47.2bn, showing an increase of 2.7 percent and the total portfolio of loans and advances increased by 2.5 percent, while the total customer deposits grew by 10.5 percent.
The total shareholders equity rose to QR6bn which represents a growth of 3.1 percent. The bank posted a net profit of QR1.05bn in 2010 compared to QR975m in 2009 which shows an increase of 8.3 percent, in addition to a 2.5 percent growth in operating income. These robust results translated into strong performance ratios and in-particular the return on average shareholders equity which was 21.4 percent and the return on average assets was 2.26 percent.
In the area of Islamic banking products and services, in 2010, Doha Islamic launched additional advanced products and services and developed the existing ones. By the end of 2010, the total assets of Doha Islamic reached QR3.8bn, total financing activities reached QR2.8bn and the total net profit of Doha Islamic reached QR111.5m.
Speaking at the bank’s AGM yesterday, Doha Bank Chairman, Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammed bin Jabor Al Thani said the bank’s three year strategic plan, include the implementation of effective risk management strategies locally and globally.