Qatar Islamic Bank sees Q4 profit fall 23%

Qatar Islamic Bank, the Gulf state's second largest lender by market value, saw fourth-quarter net profit drop 23 percent on Monday, falling shy of analysts expectations.

Net profit in the quarter was QR300m ($82.42m), compared to QR390m in the prior-year period, according to Reuters calculations.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted an average fourth quarter profit of QR320m.

The bank reported full-year profit of QR1.3bn, according to a statement posted on the bourse's website. The company did not provide a quarterly breakdown or any further details. Nine-month profit for 2009 was QR1bn.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund took a second 5 percent stake in Qatar Islamic Bank's capital in December, amounting to QR956m, according to a statement on the bourse website.

The move was the second stage of measures announced in 2008 by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to buy 10-20 percent of listed banks' capital to shore up the banking sector.

In December, QIB said it had exposure to a Dubai World Islamic bond maturing in 2017 worth QR54m ($14.84m).

Qatar National Bank last week made a fourth-quarter net profit of QR1.07bn, partly due to higher net interest income and financing activities.

"The repercussions of property crashes were less manifested in the Qatari banks," said Keith Edwards, head of asset management at Doha-based investment company The First Investor.

"Generally they've been better off than many other banks in the region," he said. (Reuters)

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