By Shane McGinley
Six-year vehicle loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, lender says
Qatar National Bank Group (QNB), the Gulf Arab state's largest lender by market value, has launched two new loan promotions, consisting of zero percent interest for up to a year and free installments for up to three months, it was announced on Saturday.
QNB, which is 50 percent owned by the government-backed Qatar Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund and was the country's first Qatari-owned commercial bank, will launch the promotions from Sunday, July 1 and are designed to take advantage of the busy summer travel season.
The first promotion, a vehicle loan, offers customers zero percent interest for the first 12 months for six-year loans and the first six months of four-year loan. The interest rates on subsequent months will start from 2.7 percent flat interest rate.
On personal loans, the bank is also offering free payments periods where it will pay the installments due for up to three months on six-year loans and for one month on four-year loans. This promotion is also available to customers who wish to top-up their existing personal loan, QNB said in a statement.
QNB Group currently employs about 7,000 staff in 334 branches and offices and operates in 24 countries around the world.
QNB reported a 17.4 percent rise in quarterly profits in April, in results that fell just shy of analyst estimates.
First quarter net profit rose to QR2bn ($549.3m) in the three months to March 31, compared with QR1.7bn in the prior year period, the bank said in a statement.
An average of five analysts saw a net profit of QR2.1bn, according to a Reuters survey.
Total operating income was up 24.4 percent on the year-ago period, which the bank attributed to strong growth across a range of revenue sources.
Loans and advances at the end of March were 201 billion riyals, growing 3.6 percent during the quarter and up 43 percent on the end of the same month in 2011.
So they've learned NOTHING from the uncontrolled personal lending boom/bust seen in the UAE in recent years, and plan to repeat the exercise...