Writedowns impact Doha Bank

Bad loan provisions see Qatar's Doha Bank post a 54.7 percent drop in Q4 profits, according to calculations.
Writedowns impact Doha Bank
By Daliah Merzaban
Tue 03 Feb 2009 09:31 PM

Doha Bank reported a 54.7 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit to 112.7 million riyals ($30.9 million) as it booked losses on investments and derivatives and made provisions for bad loans.The Qatari lender said full-year profit for 2008 rose to 946.5 million riyals, or 5.67 riyals per share, compared with 926.46 million riyals, or 6.18 riyals per share, a year earlier.

It did not give quarterly data, which Reuters calculated based on previous financial statements showing it earned 833.83 million riyals in the first nine months of 2008 and 248.95 million riyals in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Doha Bank's profits were weighed by a 64.95 million riyal loss for the year on derivatives and 131.54 million riyals of losses on financial investments, according to financial statements posted on the Doha bourse website.

The bank also booked 56.93 million riyals of provisions for impairment of loans and advances in 2008.

Banks across the oil-exporting region have been posting weaker fourth-quarter profits as writedowns rise as the region suffers the fallout of a global financial crisis that brought to an end a six-year economic boom.

Doha Bank's third-quarter profit had grown 18 percent and its second-quarter profit grew almost 28 percent.

The economy of Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is likely to grow about 10 percent in real terms this year, its minister of state for energy and industry affairs was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Doha Bank said its board was recommending cash dividends for 2008 of 50 percent of the paid up capital, or 5 riyals per share. (Reuters) 

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