Commercial Bank of Qatar Q2 profit jumps 24.9%

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Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) reported a 24.9 percent jump in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, aided by increased lending and customer deposits.

The Gulf state's third largest lender by market value had net profit of QR509.6m ($139.9m), according to Reuters calculations. That was up from QR408m in the same period last year.

The bank made a net profit of 956 million riyals in the first half of 2011, it said in a statement.

Loans and advances grew 19 percent to QR39.8bn, compared to QR33.6bn at the end of December 2010, CBQ said.

Deposits grew to QR34.7bn, up 14 percent compared from the year-earlier period.

Net provisions for loans and advances for the first half of the year rose to QR88m compared to 61 million riyals a year ago, the statement said. Second quarter provisions fell to QR35m, compared to QR53m in the same period last year.

The bank's investments were up QR2.7bn since the end of December 2010 due primarily to the issuance of a three-year bond of QR1.5bn by the government in January 2011 and an increase in Qatar central bank certificates of deposits, the statement said.

"The Qatar economy continues to improve and, despite recent regional events, the outlook for growth is positive," CBQ Chairman Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Attiyah said in the statement.

"In the second quarter, the private sector has shown signs of recovery with the government's planned spending programme expected to deliver additional stimulus as the year progresses."

CBQ shares ended down 0.55 percent on Wednesday. The results were published after markets closed.

In February, the bank's shareholders approved a $5bn bond programme, allowing it to potentially tap international debt markets in the near future though the bank has so far not indicated an intention to issue.

CBQ last tapped global debt markets with a five-year, 275 million Swiss franc-denominated bond issue in November, at three percent

Banks in Qatar are expected to benefit as the world's fastest growing economy spends more on infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup.

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