Qatari banks provisions up 1.5% m/m in March

High exposure to debt laden Saudi firms lead some Qatari banks to take high provisions.
Qatari banks provisions up 1.5% m/m in March
By Regan Doherty
Tue 20 Apr 2010 12:49 AM

Provisions made by Qatari banks rose 1.5 percent month on month in March, after a 0.1 percent increase in the previous month, while credit growth slowed sharply, the Gulf country's central bank data showed on Monday.

Some Qatari banks took high provisions in the past due to exposure to debt laden Saudi family firms, while the government intervened massively to keep the sector stable last year.

Total provisions in the world's largest natural gas exporter reached $1.65 billion at the end of March, while bank loans rose 0.7 percent month on month to $69.8 billion, following a 7.4 percent jump in February.

Specific loan provisions rose 4.3 percent month on month to $796.9 million at the end of March, data showed.

Major Qatari banks reported mixed results in the first quarter with some still feeling impacts of the global credit crunch.

In the latest set of results, Commercial Bank of Qatar announced on Thursday a 36.7 percent fall in quarterly profit, while Doha Bank reported a 4.5 percent net profit drop.

The Qatari government spent about 6.5 percent of gross domestic product last year on capital injections and other measures to maintain stability in the sector.

Total assets in the country's banking sector grew 4.7 percent to $133.9 billion, the data showed. (Reuters)

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