Posted on April 12, 2018

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB), Qatar’s leading Islamic Bank, Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A'.

The rating of QIB reflects its strong and well-established franchise in Qatar, with a market share of about 10% of total banking system assets at end-2017. It also factors in adequate profitability, sound asset-quality metrics, satisfactory capital ratios and sufficient liquid assets. QIB reported sound financial performance in 2017 due to an improvement in its net financing margin. Profitability compares well with domestic peers, with an operating return on average risk-weighted assets of 2.1% in 2017. The bank's cost-to-income ratio is low.”

The report also reiterated that “QIB's depositor base is more diversified than many of its peers and includes a strong retail component, which has historically been stable. QIB's depositor base comprises a moderate share of foreign deposits.” The Fitch report highlighted that a key rating driver is “the strong ability of Qatar to support its banks, combined with Fitch’s belief of strong wiliness to do so. The government has demonstrated a strong commitment to its banks and key public sector companies. The sovereign’s capacity to support the banking system is sustained by sovereign reserves and revenues, mostly from hydrocarbon production. QIB is a domestic systematically important bank.”

“We are pleased with the affirmations of QIB’s credit ratings by Fitch. It is a solid confirmation asserting the bank’s enhanced asset quality and robust capital position.” said Bassel Gamal, Group Chief Executive Officer of QIB. “QIB continues to record steady, healthy growth across a broad range of key performance indicators,” said Mr. Bassel. “In keeping with the Bank’s long-term growth strategy, QIB is pursuing new means for building its customers’ value while adhering to the highest professional and ethical standards.”

Established in 1982, QIB was the first Islamic Bank in Qatar. Today, it is the second largest Bank, and largest Islamic bank in the country, with a market share above 10% in terms of total assets as of year-end 2017. The Bank provides Sharia compliant products and services to corporates and individuals primarily in Qatar.