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Satyendra Pathak
Commercial Bank (CB) expects to issue bonds worth $500 million in 2021, the bank’s Group chief executive officer has said.
Addressing mediapersons to highlight the bank’s financial performance in 2020 on Wednesday, Commercial Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Joseph Abraham “We are looking at issuing 5-year bond worth at least $500 million in the international market this year. I think it’s a good time to sell bonds as the interest rates are very attractive and there is good appetite for Qatar in the international market.”
In addition to this, Abraham said, “We are also exploring additional Tier 1 issuance which is sort of capital issuance in the international market. This will be the first time that we will be going for the Tier 1 issuance to raise capital in the international market.”
Abraham said that the bank will continue to focus on digital technology, premium branches, new products and enhanced client communication this year.
Abraham said that there are plans to convert some branches in Qatar into premium branches this year.
About the bank’s expansion plans in the international market, he said, “We have a presence in the UAE, Oman and Turkey. We will continue to focus on these markets.”
Commenting on the bank’s performance in 2020, Abraham said, “It was a challenging environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic but the bank demonstrated resilience at the business and operating income level. Strong execution of our five-year strategic plan enabled us to swiftly adapt to the new operating environment.”
“The Group reported normalised operating profit of QR 3.1 billion in 2020, up 14.1 percent compared to the previous year, driven by improved consolidated net interest income. On an actual basis, consolidated operating profit was up by 0.7 percent. Consolidated net profit declined 35.6 percent to QR 1.3 billion, impacted by impairments to our associate UAB and increased provisioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as difficult market conditions in Turkey which impacted Alternatif Bank.”
“Net provisioning in 2020 increased 56.6 percent compared to the previous year despite strong recoveries, reflecting our prudent approach of factoring in the COVID-19 impact on our ECL models. Our NPL ratio improved to 4.3 percent in 2020 compared to 4.9 percent in 2019,” he said.
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