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Qatar National Bank First-Quarter Net Jumps 35% on Lending

Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest lender by assets, reported a greater-than-estimated increase in first-quarter profit on higher income from lending.

Net income rose 35 percent to 1.7 billion riyals ($467 million), or 3.4 riyals a share, from 1.27 billion riyals, or 2.5 riyals, a year earlier, the Doha-based bank said in a statement today. The median estimate of three analysts was for profit of 1.62 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Qatari banks are benefiting from an economy whose growth is forecast by the International Monetary Fund to reach 19 percent this year, the fastest pace in the world.

Qatar, which was awarded the right to host the soccer World Cup in 2022, expects domestic investment in the five years through 2016 to total 820 billion riyals, half of which will be spent in the hydrocarbon industry, according to the report by General Secretariat for Development Planning in March.

Qatar National Bank said first-quarter net interest income and income from financing activities jumped 44 percent to 1.7 billion riyals in the quarter, while net fees and commission income rose 1.3 percent to 285.2 million riyals.

Income from lending gained 20 percent to 140.7 billion riyals and customer deposits advanced 36 percent to 179.9 billion riyals.

Qatar National Bank’s shares fell 4.8 percent on Feb. 6 following a central bank order for conventional lenders to shut their Islamic-banking arms. The stock rose the most in a month two days later after Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ said it may buy the Islamic units of non-Shariah lenders. QNB Al Islami, Qatar National Bank’s Shariah-complaint arm, accounted for 18 percent of the company’s net revenue in 2009.

The lender rose 0.9 percent to 139.2 riyals in Doha trading ahead of the results today. They have fallen 2.2 percent this year.

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