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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 17/08/2009

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Collective net profits of listed companies have fallen 9.86 percent in the first half (H1) of this year as compared to the corresponding period in 2008.

The industrial and insurance counters were mainly responsible for the reversal. The two sectors showed losses to the tune of over 33 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

Combined H1 2009 net profits of listed entities stood at QR13.9bn as against QR15.4bn in the first six months last year, Qatar Exchange, the Qatari bourse, said in a statement yesterday releasing the figures. Even with reduced H1 profits, Industries Qatar IQ), holding company for major petrochemical and cement-making giants, took the cake with the largest net profits at QR2.6bn.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the country?s largest lender which is half state-owned, trailed second posting net profits of QR2.1bn.

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) with QR1.6bn in net profits ranked third. These three top players claimed more than 45 percent share in the combined H1 net profits of all listed companies.

Qatar Exchange said 42 of the 43 listed entities have reported their financials?all within the deadline. Vodafone Qatar, which has been listed recently and has yet to declare profits, was the only exception.

This is the first time since the country has been witnessing economic boom, there has been erosion in the combined net profits of the listed entities.

The banking and financial services sector which received a huge financial package from the state after the onset of the global recession showed 4.53 percent gain over the net profits in H1 of 2008.

The services sector, on the other hand, registered a 5.48 percent growth in net profits over the corresponding half-yearly period last year.

In the banking sector, reduced net profits were reported by several players, prominent among them being Commercialbank, Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank as well as First Finance.

As for the insurance counters, all the five entities showed reduced net profits over their H1 2008 figures.

In the industrial sector, IQ reported reduced profits while Qatar-German Medical Devices Company reported losses to the tune of QR177,000.

Medicare Group in the services sector was the only listed entity which reported losses (QR1.6m) while reduced profits were posted by quite a few, prominent among them being Qatar Shipping and Qatar Navigation.

Analysts hope that with the global recession easing and stock markets doing relatively better in the later half of this year, the profitability of the listed companies should improve by the year-end.

By Mobin Pandit


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