QNB has seen its Long Term Rating upgraded from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-’, according to a recent report published by Fitch Ratings.
The Qatari bank, whose profits increased over 10% from 2013 to 2014, yielding approximately USD$2.89 billion was cited as ‘the flagship bank’ whose performance has been considered ‘impressive’ according to the 102 year old U.S based ratings agency.
Taking in to account Qatar’s positive outlook and combined healthy condition of its domestic banking centre, Fitch concluded that the ongoing support from sovereign wealth funds and hydrocarbon sales were both underlying factors in making its decision to upgrade the Doha-based institution, which was recently acknowledged as the 79th largest banking brand in the world.
Having expanded its operations into 26 countries, across three continents, QNB’s recent acquisitions include a 20% stake in Ecobank Transnational Inc, the ECOWAS led African bank which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Chief executive officer, Al Al-Kuwari, who recently spoke at the ‘2015 International Finance Spring Memberships Meeting’ stated that the bank’s focus would be concentrated on the Middle East, Africa and Asia while acknowledging the strategic contribution GCC wide banks are making to the global economy.
During a conversation with IIF president and CEO Timothy Adams, Al-Kuwari, said, “GCC members have been increasingly important contributors to the world economy and they have successfully positioned themselves as important hubs. The favourable market dynamics, geographical location, logistics infrastructure and the region’s stability compared with its surrounding countries, make it ideal to attract high levels of investment and trade flows.”
Qatar is currently estimated to be the fastest growing country from the Gulf Cooperation Council of nations, outpacing its neighbours including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, at a rate of 6.5% per annum.