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Doha Bank, Commercial Bank Profit Beat Estimates on Fees

Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, and Doha Bank QSC reported a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter profit as non-interest income made up for losses from lending.

Commercial Bank’s net income climbed 7 percent to 506 million riyals ($135 million), the bank said in an e-mailed statement today. The mean estimate of six analysts was for a profit of 483 million riyals, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Net income at Doha Bank, Qatar’s fourth-largest lender, rose 1.4 percent to 395.3 million riyals versus the 374 million-riyal mean estimate of five analysts.

“The growth came from investment income and other non-recurring items,” Abdullah Amin, senior research analyst at Qatar National Bank Financial Services, said in an e-mail. Net interest margins “are under pressure because of liquidity in the system, loan re-pricing and relatively sticky deposit rates.”

Commercial Bank recorded a 48 percent increase in non-interest income to 299 million riyals including fees and “improved gains” from investments, the lender said. Doha Bank’s income from fees and commissions climbed 13 percent to 92.7 million riyals, and income from investment securities rose 57 percent to 83.3 million riyals.

Commercial Bank’s net interest income, a measure of the profitability of lending, fell 5 percent and Doha Bank’s declined 2.9 percent as margins shrank in Qatar. The net interest margin for the emirate’s eight publicly traded banks fell to 3.29 percent last year from 3.93 percent in 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Commercial Bank shares rose 0.8 percent to 68 riyals on the Qatar Exchange today, and Doha Bank’s fell 0.1 percent. Both lenders reported financial results after the market closed.

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