(MENAFN - Arab News) Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group continued to record robust growth in profitability, with net profit for 2013 amounting to QR9.5 billion (2.6 billion), up by 13.7 percent compared to 2012.
These results include the financial results of QNB AlAhli in Egypt, in which the group concluded the acquisition of a controlling stake amounting to 97.12 percent in March 2013.
Based on the strong financial results for 2013 and consistent with QNB Group's aim of maximizing returns to shareholders, the board of directors is recommending to the general assembly the distribution of a cash dividend of 70 percent of the nominal share value (QR7.0 per share).
The financial results for 2013 along with the profit distribution are subject to Qatar Central Bank's (QCB) approval.
The group's prudent cost control policy and strong revenue generating capability allowed it to maintain an efficiency ratio (cost to income ratio) of 20.4 percent, which is considered one of the best ratios among financial institutions in the region.
Total assets increased by 20.9 percent from December 2012 to reach QR443 billion (121.8 billion), the highest ever achieved by the Group. This was the result of a strong growth rate of 24.3 percent in loans and advances to reach QR311 billion (85.3 billion).
The group was able to maintain the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.6 percent, a level considered one of the lowest amongst banks in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting the high quality of the group's loan book and the effective management of credit risk.