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Thu 11 Jul 2013 08:18 AM

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Qatar's QNB posts 24% rise in Q2 net profit

Acquisitive Gulf Arab lender also says it has regulatory nod to open first office in China

Qatar's QNB posts 24% rise in Q2 net profit

Acquisitive Gulf Arab lender, Qatar National Bank (QNB), has posted 24 percent higher second-quarter net profit that beat analysts' estimates by 7 percent and said it was opening an office in China.

QNB, which completed the purchase of a majority stake in Societe Generale's Egyptian arm NSGB for $2bn in March, posted a net profit of QR2.6bn ($714m) for the three months to June 30 including NSGB.

First-half net profit was QR4.7bn, up 15.1 percent year-on-year, it said.

Total assets rose 30.4 percent from June 2012 to QR431bn, the highest ever achieved by the bank, its statement said, as result of a strong growth rate in loans and advances.

Loans and advances rose 26.3 percent to QR296bn, and the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans was 1.5 percent.

Half-owned by sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, and with a market value of about $26bn, the bank said it had all the necessary regulatory approvals to open a representative office in China. It said in May it will start operations in India in the third quarter.

Its acquisitions have been focused so far on the Middle East and North Africa, and it said last December it was looking at a majority stake in a top 10 Turkish bank.

With bank stakes in Indonesia, Jordan and Tunisia, QNB wants its international business to contribute about 40 percent of profit and 45 percent of total assets by 2017, Chief Financial Officer Ramzi Mari said in December, up from about 17 percent and 30 percent before the NSGB deal.

On Tuesday, the bank appointed Ali al-Kuwari as acting chief executive after a government reshuffle saw his predecessor, Ali al-Emadi, named as finance minister. Kuwari previously led the bank's corporate, retail and international banking businesses.

Emadi was made chairman of QNB's board this week.

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