Commercial Bank's outlook is stable according to S&P Global Ratings

In its report, the ratings agency cited Commercial Bank's position as the third-largest bank in Qatar, its healthy capitalization


Doha, Qatar: S&P Global Ratings yesterday (10 December 2018) revised its outlook on Commercial Bank from negative to stable, affirming a short-term rating of A-2 and a long-term rating of BBB+ for the Bank.

In its report, the ratings agency cited Commercial Bank’s position as the third-largest bank in Qatar, its healthy capitalization, and its ongoing work to reshape its loan book toward lower risk sectors as factors in the decision to upwardly revise the Bank’s outlook.

The S&P Global Ratings report states: “Our ratings on CBQ reflect its good franchise in Qatar as the third-largest bank in the system. The bank holds 14% of its assets in liquid form and has another 10% in highly rated government bonds. As a systemically important bank in a highly supportive country, the long-term rating on CBQ is three notches higher than the bank's SACP.”

The decision to improve Commercial Bank’s rating comes days after S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Qatar from negative to stable, giving the country a rating of AA-/A-1+ because of the country's “effective management of the fallout from the ongoing boycott related to trade and financial flows”, according to its report.

Joseph Abraham, Group Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank said: “This upward revision is due to the prudent economic management by the Government and Qatar Central Bank since the blockade resulting in a revision of the country rating outlook to stable, and for Commercial Bank the positive view is based on the strong execution of our five-year strategic plan. We are achieving everything that we set out to do two years ago in terms of careful management of our capital position, taking provisions for our legacy loan book, reducing our cost to income ratio, de-risking and re-shaping our balance sheet, and continuing to build our franchise based on innovation and new technology. We are pleased by this recognition by S&P of Commercial Bank’s ability to deliver against our strategic plan.”

Including S&P Global Ratings, Commercial Bank currently enjoys strong credit ratings from all the major ratings agencies. Its long-term outlook is rated A3 by Moody’s and A by Fitch.


Abeer Marwan Al Kalla

Head of Corporate Communications and CSR

The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.) | P.O Box 3232, Doha, State of Qatar

Direct Tel: 44490292 

About Commercial Bank

Commercial Bank has total assets of QAR 138.7billion as at 30 September 2018. As a full service commercial bank, the Bank offers a full range of corporate, retail and investment banking services as well as owning and operating the exclusive Diners Club franchise in Qatar. The Bank’s countrywide network includes 29 full service branches and 174 ATMs.

Profitable every year since incorporation in 1974, continual investment in technology and human capital, together with a strong capital base, provides a solid foundation for continued growth. Expanding its geographical footprint, Commercial Bank is 100% owner of Alternatif Bank in Turkey and has a strategic partnership with the National Bank of Oman (NBO). NBO is the second largest bank in Oman with total assets of OMR 3.5 billion as at 30 September 2018 and has 69 branches, including 1 branch each in Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Commercial Bank has ceased discussion with Tabarak Investment to negotiate terms of the potential sale of the Bank’s stake in United Arab Bank.

Commercial Bank enjoys strong credit ratings of (A3) from Moody’s, (A) from Fitch, and (A-2) from Standard & Poor’s. The Bank is listed on the Qatar Exchange and was the first Qatari bank to list its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) on the London Stock Exchange. Commercial Bank’s Swiss Franc bond issued in March 2018 is the largest ever CHF bond from the MENA region.

Most recently, Commercial Bank was awarded “Best Bank in Qatar” from Global Finance magazine on the sidelines of the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.  According to Brand Finance, Commercial Bank was also named among the world's top 500 financial brands for 2018, ranking third locally and 270 globally, up 12 on the same list compared to last year Commercial Bank was awarded the “Best Remittance Bank in the Middle East 2018”, “Best Retail Bank in Qatar 2018,” “SME Bank of the Year in the Middle East 2017,” and “Best Cash Management Bank in Qatar 2017” by The Asian Banker. In recognition of its CSR activities benefitting the Qatari community, Commercial Bank was awarded the “Best CSR Report”, at the Corporate Social Responsibility awards ceremony for organisations in Qatar. The Bank also won the “Best Investor Relations award for mid-cap companies” at the Qatar Stock Exchange’s annual IR awards ceremony in 2017 recognising best practice in investor relations.

The Bank is dedicated to supporting Qatar’s community and social infrastructure through Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and sponsorship of various events. Title sponsorship of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters reflects the Bank’s promotion of excellence in sports and its keen interest in enhancing Qatar’s international sporting reputation. 

About Alternatif Bank

Alternatif Bank was established in 1991. Commercial Bank became the majority shareholder in Alternatif Bank in 2013 holding a 74.24% stake, following the acquisition of Alternatif Bank shares of 70.84% from the Anadolu Group and 3.40% through a public tender offer. In December 2016 the Bank completed the put option exercise of purchasing 25% of share in Alternatif Bank from Anadolu group. Currently the Bank owns 100% of Alternatif Bank shares.

Alternatif Bank is a mid-size Turkish bank that provides its customers in the corporate, commercial and retail banking segments with high value products, services and solutions through a country-wide network of 53 branches widely distributed across Turkey. Alternatif Bank works closely with Commercial Bank to realise synergies and leverage regional trade opportunities.

As at 30 September 2018, Alternatif Bank had total assets of TL 29.5 billion, total loans stood at TL 18.1 billion, customer deposits of TL 14.3 billion and shareholders’ equity of TL 1.7 billion. 

© Press Release 2018

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