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QNB Group's Continued Success in H1 2024 Fueled by Strong Growth in Interest Income and Reduced Impairments

QNB Group's Continued Success in H1 2024 Fueled by Strong Growth in Interest Income and Reduced Impairments

• The company's interest income grew by 40% yearly, while the net interest margin experienced a notable decline.

• QNB Group's shares’ price increased as much as 3% during H1 2024.

• Despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, net profit jumped, primarily driven by higher interest income and reduced impairments.

During H1 2024, QNB Group's stock price experienced an increase of 3%, starting at 14.23 riyals per share and ending at 14.65 riyals per share by the quarter's end.

Here are the key numbers:

● Interest Income: 60,345 million QAR vs. 43,150 million QAR in H1 2023 (a 40% YoY increase).

● Net Interest Income: 15,811 million QAR vs. 14,218 million QAR in H1 2023 (an 11% YoY increase).

● Net Profit: 8,279 million QAR vs. 7,675 million QAR in H1 2023 (an 8% YoY increase).

● Earnings per Share: 0.82 QAR/share vs. 0.76 QAR/share in H1 2023 (an 8% YoY increase).

● Dividend per Share: 0.33 QAR/share. In this year, QSE-listed companies are allowed to pay quarterly or semi-annual interim dividend, so there is no comparable figure in the last year.

From the first quarter of 2022 to July 2023, the Federal Reserve (FED) implemented a significant trend of consistently raising interest rates. This series of hikes concluded with a final increase in July 2023. The decision to cease further increases was driven by a slowdown in inflation and a convergence towards the target rate. Looking ahead, the FED is anticipated to commence a gradual reduction in interest rates in the last quarter of 2024.

The Qatari central bank, along with central banks across the GCC region, strictly adhered to FED actions. The shift in interest rates had a dual effect on QNB Group's net profit. On the positive side, it led to a significant boost in interest income. However, on the flip side, it also resulted in a decrease in the net interest margin. This nuanced impact underscores the complex interplay of factors influencing the financial performance of QNB Group in response to the evolving interest rate environment.

The net interest margin underwent a sharp decline, decreasing from 33% in H1 2023 to 26%. This reduction can be primarily attributed to the impact of the aforementioned surge in interest rates, leading to elevated borrowing costs and a consequential adverse effect on net profit, totaling 4,073 million QAR. Despite this decline in the net interest margin due to the influence of rising interest rates, QNB Group successfully increased its net interest income. This achievement can be attributed to the bank's robust level of activity and a well-balanced portfolio, resulting in a positive impact on net profit amounting to 5,666 million QAR. Such resilience underscores the bank's adeptness in adapting and thriving within a dynamic interest rate environment.

Against the backdrop of a challenging macroeconomic environment and the looming threat of a recession, the banking sector faced heightened concerns regarding credit risk. QNB Group, responding strategically to these conditions, opted to increase impairments in lower amounts than in H1 2023. This deliberate decision created a positive impact on the net profit of approximately 1,375 million Qatari riyals. The management's choice underscores the bank's proactive stance in risk management, demonstrating confidence in the resilience of its loan portfolio amidst the complexities of the economic landscape. This move reflects a strategic commitment to navigating and mitigating challenges in the face of adverse economic conditions.

Analyzing other segments of the core business, commissions, and fees contributed positively to net profit, increasing it by 466 million QAR. However, there was a negative impact of 222 million QAR due to a reduction in foreign exchange activity income. Increase in staff expenses impacted net profit negatively by 465 million QAR.

Expenses and losses originating from activities outside the core business had a considerable negative impact on the company's net profit.

According to IAS 29, consolidated financial statements are required to be reported in terms of the measuring unit current at the balance sheet date. This mandates the restatement of non-monetary assets and liabilities to account for fluctuations in the general purchasing power of the currency. Given the company's substantial operations in Turkey, and with Turkey being classified as hyperinflationary starting from April 1, 2022, based on the criteria established by the aforementioned standard, restatements were calculated using conversion factors derived from consumer price indices. Regrettably, these restatements had a significant adverse impact on the company's profit, resulting in a decrease of 897 million Qatari riyals. This impact, although substantial, should be understood in the context of an otherwise strong business performance.

From an income tax standpoint, there was a notable increase compared to H1 2023, leading to a significant adverse impact on net profit totaling 715 million QAR. This suggests that the company has likely maximized its tax optimization strategies, and in this quarter, the calculated income tax is closer to the full amount.

For more comprehensive information, please refer to the reliable financial information source,

Source: Sahmik