Doha Bank's Q4 disappoints investors

Fourth quarter profits drop 50% from same period in prior year, well below forecasts.
Doha Bank's Q4 disappoints investors
By Rob Corder
Sun 11 Feb 2007 11:19 PM

Doha Bank, Qatar's fifth-largest lender by market value, made a fourth-quarter profit of 136.47 million riyals ($37.49 million), down 50 percent compared with 2005.

The earnings, twice as bad as the worst expectation in a Reuters survey in December, compare with 273 million riyals in the three months to Dec. 31, 2005.

Reuters calculated net income based on annual data announced by the bank's Deputy Chief Executive Raghavan Seetharaman.

"We were affected by the decline in the stock market last year, which hit our investment income," he said.

Full-year profit fell 5.7 percent to 744 million riyals or about 6 riyals per share, compared with 789 million or 10 riyals per share in 2005, he said.

Investment income fell 51.66 percent to 174 million riyals in 2006 while net interest income and other core earnings rose 35.8 percent to 550 million riyals in the same period.

Seetharaman said the bank proposed a cash dividend of 5 percent or five riyals per share but no bonus share dividend.

Analysts forecast in the Reuters survey that fourth-quarter net income would fall between 8.3 and 25.8 percent.

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