Posted on March 24, 2019

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB), Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A’ with a Stable Outlook. It also upgraded QIB’s Viability Rating (VR) to ‘bbb’ from ‘bbb-’.

The rating reflects QIB’s strong and stable standing in Qatar, with the highest market share of Islamic Banking assets of 42.3% and about 11% of the total banking assets at end of the fiscal year 2018. QIB reported a growth in net profit by 14.5% in 2018 reflecting the Bank’s outstanding performance across all divisions. The rating considers the Bank’s adequate profitability, sound asset-quality metrics, satisfactory capital ratios and sufficient liquid assets. The Fitch report highlighted that “The upgrade of the VR mostly reflects QIB's strong Qatari Islamic franchise, which is highly beneficial to the bank's financial profile over the cycles. The bank attracts inexpensive retail deposits, which form the core of its funding and translate into cheaper cost of funding compared to peers”.

The report also reiterated “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 affirmation of QIB’s IDR “A” rating and the upgrade of the VR rating by Fitch. This 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. “We are committed to implementing our long-term growth strategy which is focused on the local market. We will continue pursuing new means for creating value for our customers while adhering to the highest professional and ethical standards.”