CBQ's First-Quarter Profit Climbs 6%, Missing Estimates

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s second-biggest bank by assets, said first-quarter profit climbed 6 percent as interest income rose.

Net income advanced to 471 million riyals from 446 million riyals a year earlier, the Doha-based lender said today in an e- mailed statement. The median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of 490 million riyals.

Banks in the Persian Gulf emirate have increased lending amid rising government spending on infrastructure including an urban redevelopment project, new port, rail system and petrochemical plants. Qatari bank credit facilities grew an annual 32 percent in March and customer deposits increased 13 percent, according to central bank data.

“Economic growth in 2012 is expected to be led by the government’s public sector spending program, including investment in infrastructure, health and education, which will be the key driver for growth in the banking sector,” Commercial Bank Chairman Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Attiyah said in the statement.

Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK), the Persian Gulf country’s largest lender, said first-quarter profit rose 17 percent to 2 billion riyals, matching estimates. Doha Bank QSC (DHBK) posted a better-than- expected 7.4 percent increase in first-quarter profit.

Commercial Bank’s net interest income increased 7 percent to 478 million riyals, the bank said. Loans and advances rose 21 percent to 42 billion riyals and deposits increased 25 percent to 37.9 billion riyals. Net provisions for loans and advances fell 16 percent and the non-performing loan ratio was 1.22 percent at the end of the quarter.

Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, had the fastest growing economy the past two years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Commercial Bank’s stock slipped 0.4 percent to 74.3 riyals a share on the Qatar Exchange today before the results were released. The stock has dropped 12 percent this year compared with a 0.9 percent decline for the QE Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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