Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) announced that Fitch Ratings has affirmed the bank's rating at ‘A’ with a stable outlook, which once again highlights the strength of the Bank's various indicators, its financial position and conformity to Qatar’s economic potential.
In affirming the QIIB rating, Fitch identified several features, most important being “the strength of the bank's position among Islamic banks, its assets’ quality, strong profitability, quality of financing portfolio, growth in operational profits, improvement in operational efficiency and strong presence in the local retail sector”.
Fitch pointed out that the strength of the Qatari economy and its classification, besides the Qatari Government support to the banking sector including the QIIB whenever required, were the important factors in affirming the QIIB rating at A.
The government’s ongoing support to the Qatari banking sector and its equity participation in the local banks, shows its strong commitment to the local banks.
QIIB Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Shaibei said, “The premier rating agency has clearly stated that the strength of the Qatari economy and its strong indicators are catalysts in supporting various economic sectors, especially the banking sector. This sector is deriving its strength from the exceptional performance of our national economy, which continues to achieve the best growth rates, regionally and internationally”.
“We, at QIIB, are part of the Qatari economy, which emerges stronger amid challenges, especially when facing the unfair economic blockade on our country. We are thrilled to have leveraged our performance to contribute to the victory over this blockade, which has made our economy stronger, more dynamic and being able to achieve the highest targeted growth rates,” he added.
“QIIB spares no effort in financing projects and activities that bring value addition to the national economy, which has provided the best growth opportunities and showed attractiveness to local banks and companies, as well as international banks and other companies. This promotes competition, fosters development in various fields and sectors, and supports the achievement of the vision and goals set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030”.
“Fitch’s affirmation of the QIIB rating clearly reflects the strength of the Qatari banking sector and the significant positive results achieved by the supervisory authorities in their plans and decisions to meet the various challenges facing the country’s banking sector and promote the contribution to sustainable development based on the best banking standards approved globally”.
“For us, this rating is another major incentive to enhance the bank`s financial position and take advantage of the strengths in order to meet any potential challenges in future. This high rating will surely help the bank in the international markets, enhances its reliability and encourages the foreign parties to deal with it in the best possible manner,” Dr al-Shaibei noted.
According to him, “Fitch's rating is the culmination of major efforts deployed by the Bank to improve its performance and the operational environment as well as to implement the Board's strategy, which emphasises on enhancing confidence, improving various indicators, increasing profitability, reducing potential risks, actively engaging in financing various local sectors and focusing on foreign investments that consolidates the bank`s global positioning with minimum risks.”
“The high rating given to us by international rating agencies also reflects on the tremendous global investor interest generated during the issuance of our $500mn sukuk earlier this year, which was heavily oversubscribed.”
The CEO expressed confidence that “The future holds reassuring signals for QIIB, in the light of the optimism and positive figures and credible assessment of our financial strengths. This enables the bank to go forward in achieving its strategy, in harmony with the high-level performance of the Qatari economy”.
QIIB was founded in 1990, being the second Islamic bank in Qatar. It is currently the third largest Islamic bank in terms of assets and market value. QIIB started operations in 1991 and is listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange. The Bank provides integrated banking services to its clients through a network of branches across Qatar and has diversified its regional and international partnerships.