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Qatar Islamic Bank Drops as Earnings Miss Estimates: Doha Mover

Qatar Islamic Bank led declines in the nation’s banking stocks after profit missed analysts’ estimates and the Shariah-compliant lender reduced its dividend.

The shares of the Persian Gulf country’s biggest Islamic bank dropped 3.1 percent, the most since March 14, to 80.3 riyals, at the 1 p.m. close in Doha. Doha Bank QSC lost 2.9 percent after reporting earnings that matched estimates. Qatar National Bank SAQ, the country’s biggest lender, retreated as much as 0.5 percent. QIB and Doha Bank had the biggest percentage declines on the country’s benchmark stock measure, the QE Index, which fell 1.1 percent.

QIB’s “net income missed consensus by a significant amount which is now being priced in,” said Ali Khan, London-based head of Middle East and North Africa equities sales at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “The dividend has been reduced as well, which usually creates negative price action.”

The bank’s full-year net income was 1.37 billion riyals ($376 million) after 1.26 billion riyals a year earlier. The mean estimate of eight analysts was for a profit of 1.46 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The lender plans to pay a 4.5 riyal-cash dividend compared with 5 riyals a year earlier.

Qatar’s QE Banking Index dropped 1.5 percent, bringing its drop for the year to 4.4 percent.

Doha Bank, the emirate’s third-largest bank by total loans, posted an 18 percent increase in 2011 profit to 1.24 billion riyals. The company may increase the size of a $500 million bond it plans to sell this quarter, said Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman.

There are “limited positive surprises in bank earnings in Qatar at the moment,” Khan said.

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