Dubai: Qatar National Bank QPSC said its assets have passed the 1 trillion-riyal ($273.5 billion) mark and it set aside more money in provisions as a "precautionary measure."
The Middle East's biggest bank booked 5.8 billion riyals in loan-loss provisions, compared with 3.18 billion riyals a year ago, according to a statement on Tuesday. Total assets ended 2020 at 1.025 trillion riyals, an increase of about 9 per cent from the previous year.
Profitability for lenders in the Gulf remains under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic as disruptions to trade and travel continue to rattle the energy-rich region. The outlook for Qatar is turning more favorable following the restoration of its ties with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt after a diplomatic breakthrough this month ended a three-year dispute.
"The bank continues to provision for Covid-19," Citigroup Inc. analysts Rahul Bajaj and Ronit Ghose said in a research note. "While QNB has reported weak headline numbers, we do note that that the bank continues to perform strongly on a pre-provision basis."