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Doha Bank Posts 18% Rise in 2011 Profit, Meets Estimates

Doha Bank QSC, Qatar’s third-largest bank by total loans, posted an 18 percent increase in 2011 profit to 1.24 billion riyal ($340 million), meeting analysts’ estimates.

Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman, who announced the results in a news conference in Doha, said non-performing loans were 3.3 percent of total loans. The mean estimate of nine analysts was for adjusted net income of 1.24 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Banks are benefiting from an increase in lending in Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, as the country spends on new roads, an airport and other infrastructure. Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022, had the world’s fastest growing economy for a second straight year in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“Infrastructure creation will give corporate and commercial banking tender bonds, fee income,” Seetharaman said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “That’s the driving force for banks to have good revenue generation. Banking or insurance, asset management or other sectors should get stimulated by government expenditure.”

Qatar National Bank, the country’s biggest lender, reported on Jan. 9 a better-than-expected 32 percent rise in full-year profit. Qatar Islamic Bank said net income for the year rose 8 percent.

Doha Bank stock fell 0.8 percent to 64.9 riyals a share on the Qatar Exchange today, before the financial results were posted.

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