Commercial Bank of Qatar Fourth-Quarter Profit Misses Estimates

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the lender in talks to buy a majority stake in Alternatifbank AS, posted a 19 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, missing analysts’ estimates.

Net income climbed to 447 million riyals ($123 million) from 376 million riyals a year earlier, the Doha-based bank said in an e-mailed statement today. The average estimate of six analysts was for a profit of 465 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, plans to complete talks next month to buy a 75 percent in Turkey’s Alternatifbank. Qatari lenders are expanding abroad amid limited growth prospects in their home market of 1.8 million people. Qatar National Bank SAQ, the country’s biggest lender, agreed to buy a majority stake in Egypt’s National Societe General Bank SAE last month.

“The Qatar market has been extremely competitive in 2012 and the bank has worked hard to maintain market share in a lower margin environment in which pricing pressure has remained,” Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Stevens said in the statement. The bank cut net impairment loss on loans and advances to 140 million riyals last year from 239 million riyals a year earlier.

The shares, which lost 16 percent last year, declined 1.6 percent today before the results were announced.