Posted on March 23, 2014

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar’s leading Islamic bank, has once again been named “Best Islamic Bank in Qatar” by World Finance Magazine, as well as being recognised as the Best SME Islamic Finance Provider. In addition, World Finance selected QIB as a member of its 2013 ‘World Finance 100’ List. The Bank won these awards for its performance and achievements during 2013 across all market segments.

World Finance is a financial magazine produced every two months; since 2007, its Awards have been celebrating achievement, innovation and brilliance in the industry. Their judging panel boasts over 230 years of financial and business journalism, supported by a research team that works round the clock to ensure that the award winners are the most deserving in their sector.

The award, which was the latest in a long string of accolades given to QIB over the past, was based on the Bank’s performance over the past year. Other recent awards and recognitions include the Best Islamic Bank in Qatar from Euromoney, The Banker, Islamic Finance News (IFN) and Global Finance.

The results of 2013 have maintained QIB’s leadership as the Best Islamic Bank in Qatar. QIB’s customer deposits saw a steep rise of 16.7% to reach QAR 50.4 billion by the end of fiscal year 2013 compared to QAR 43.1 billion in 2012, thus enabling QIB to effectively support the constant growth of assets. Total Assets of the Bank has increased by 5.7% compared to 2012 and now stands at QAR 77.4 billion compared to QAR 73.2 billion for the previous year. Financing activities continues to be the major growth driver and have now reached QAR 47.1 billion having added QAR 4 billion, representing a 9.3% growth compared to QAR 43.1 billion last year.

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Thanks to the overall positive trends in its main statements, QIB’s net benefits for fiscal year 2013 totaled QAR 1.34 Billion, reflecting a growth rate of 7.6% compared to last year’s results. QIB’s Group CEO, Bassel Gamal explained that QIB achieved considerable growth in SME financing operations during the past year growing by an impressive 170%.

“The growth in SME financing was the result of QIB’s successful ‘Aamaly’ program, launched at the beginning of the year,” Mr. Gamal said. “The program identified economic sectors that fell under the SME category, and provided exceptional banking services as well as financial offers and incentives to the customers of this vital sector, which included manufacturing, trades and services, as well as contracting.

“The outcome of the ‘Aamaly’ program, since its inception at the beginning of 2013, has exceeded our expectations; QIB has witnessed positive results on both the financial and services levels.

Through Aamaly, the Bank is aiming to raise the threshold in servicing the SMEs sector while helping build a sustainable economic growth. Its policy reflects that of the government in carrying out Qatar’s National Vision 2030. The SME sector in Qatar has huge potential, and is expected to grow rapidly to play an important part of Qatar’s overall growth. QIB already enjoys a sizeable corporate and retail base and it also has a strong branch presence across the country to meet its customers’ growing requirements.

It’s worth mentioning that during 2013 Fitch affirmed the Bank's long term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A' with a stable outlook. Similarly Standard & Poor’s Rating Services have also maintained QIB’s Counterparty Credit Rating at 'A-' with a stable outlook which reflects the strong position in Qatar's rapidly expanding Islamic banking market, favourable operating environment and strong capitalization.