I would like to welcome you all and thank you for attending. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to present to you the QIB annual report for fiscal year 2018.
For the second successive year, our national economy has achieved higher-than-expected GDP growth in 2018, at a time when global growth began to slow down in several developed markets. While oil prices recovered on the regional level in early 2018, they sharply dropped later due to slow global growth. Qatar outperformed its regional counterparts in 2018 despite the current political crisis, which the State managed to turn from a challenge to an opportunity for revival and positive initiatives. One evidence was the flow of foreign funds into the banking sector, and the strong performance of the securities markets. Amid all this, your Bank maintained its leading position as Qatarʼs first and largest Islamic bank, with a market share of 42.3% of total Islamic assets. The Bankʼs assets increased in multiples to reach 153.2 billion riyals, and its profitability grew at a compounded average growth rate of 15.6% in the past five years, allowing the bank to occupy the second position among its peer national banks.
In 2018, our Bank laid the foundations for transformation into digital banking, taking the lead in the local market. Long hours of business design, IT development and organizational preparations were spent in cooperation with specialists from a highly qualified international consultancy firm. We invested financial and human efforts in the ICT infrastructure to create additional capabilities, provide and upgrade modern technologies, support new solutions, and secure cutting-edge information security systems. QIB took the lead in providing retail and corporate financial services via its advanced mobile and internet applications, in addition to the integrated services it provides through the call center, which uses the latest technologies.
QIB also worked to improve the performance and results of its local and foreign subsidiaries and associates. The bank affiliate entities in the UK, Lebanon and Sudan achieved satisfactory results. And as you know, the Bank, based on its foreign investment strategy, exited successfully its investment in the Asian Finance Bank.
We continued to modernize and add policies and procedures to ensure the best governance practices and compliance with regulatory requirements, in addition to improving work procedures and documentation systems and management by using the most modern technologies. In 2018, QIB turned further attention to human resources, sponsoring many local talents to study and then join the bank. It also provided training opportunities, achieving more than 35,000 training hours during the year. It was also active in the field of CSR, leading and providing speakers for the «How Money Works» program, which trains secondary school and university students on how to manage their finances. The program was organized in collaboration with Injaz Qatar, a non-profit organization working on economic empowerment of the youth.
Amid these exceptional developments, 2018 was a good year of prosperity and growth for QIB. The Bankʼs assets increased by 2% compared to 2017, reaching QAR 153.2. Billion, customer deposits stand at QAR 100.6 billion and the total income amounted to QAR 6,899.7 million, representing a growth of 11.3% over the previous year. Moreover, the Bank was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing financing assets to total financing assets at about 1.2%, one of the lowest in the banking industry. It also continued to pursue a conservative impairment policy, with coverage ratio for the non-performing financing assets reaching 100% as of the end of 2018.
Thanks to these remarkable results, QIB’s net profit in 2018 amounted to QAR 2,755.3 million, a growth rate of 14.5% compared to 2017. Based on these results, the Board of Directors recommend that your esteemed Assembly approve a dividend distribution to shareholders of 50% of the nominal share value, at QAR 5 per share.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, and to His Highness the Father Amir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, for their continuous support and encouragement to the banking sector in the State.
We would also like to thank and appreciate all officials concerned with the banking sector in Qatar, particularly Qatar Central Bank, for their continued support, all the components of the banking and economic activity to cope with the challenging situation, and to all our customers, investors, and shareholders for their confidence and loyalty. I also thank the Shariʼa Supervisory Board for its efforts. I would like to specially thank our Group Chief Executive Officer for his exceptional efforts and initiatives, with the blessings from Allah and help from a loyal management team. Each one of you have helped the Bank reach a top position and achieve these outstanding results.
© Press Release 2019