Qatar National Bank Gains After Net Beats Estimates: Doha Mover

Qatar National Bank SAQ rose the most in more than a week after the Arab world’s biggest lender reported a better-than-expected climb in second-quarter profit.

Shares of the bank known as QNB rose 1.3 percent, the most since July 1, to 161.5 riyals at 1:03 p.m. in Doha, taking the three-day advance to 1.8 percent. The stock was the second-biggest gainer among 20 shares trading on the benchmark QE Index, which increased 0.9 percent.

QNB’s quarterly net income jumped 23 percent to 2.6 billion riyals ($714 million), compared with the 2.35 billion-riyal average estimate of six analysts compiled by Bloomberg. MSCI Inc., which last month upgraded Qatar to emerging-market status, gave QNB a provisional weighting of 21.7 percent on the MSCI Qatar Index, the index provider said in an e-mail yesterday.

“The bank continues to deliver solid numbers,” Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC, said by text message. Having the biggest weighting on the MSCI Qatar index, “would mean higher flow from foreign investors,” he said.

QNB, which is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, became the first Middle Eastern lender with assets above $100 billion after acquiring lenders in Egypt, Iraq and Libya. Assets stood at 431 billion riyals on June 30.

The bank said yesterday it’s planning more expansion, including receiving regulatory approvals to open an office in China and establishing a fully owned unit in India. Fifteen analysts have a buy recommendation on QNB while two say to hold the shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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