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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Qatar's CBQ Q4 net misses forecast despite 66 pct rise

Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:47am EST
* Q4 net profit soars to 309 mln riyals vs 186 mln year-ago
* Lender posts 2010 net profit of 1.64 bln riyals
* Board proposes dividend of 7 riyals per share
(Recasts, adds details)
DOHA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Commercial Bank of Qatar's COMB.QA (CBQ) fourth-quarter net profit soared 66 percent, the bank said on Sunday, but the results fell short of analysts' expectations.
Qatar's second-largest bank by market value posted a net profit of 309 million riyals ($84.93 million), compared with 186 million riyals a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected the bank to make a quarterly profit of 441.99 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll.[ID:nLDE70B1UL]
In the prior-year quarter, CBQ's earnings suffered a 170-million riyal hit related to a corporate default. [ID:nLDE60I01J]
The bank had full-year net profit of 1.64 billion riyals, it said in a statement to the Qatar bourse. CBQ's board recommended a cash dividend of 7 riyals per share.
Impairment losses on loans and advances totalled 166.5 million riyals for 2010, while losses on investments were 128 million riyals, it said.
On Tuesday, CBQ said it received funds from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, after it sold 20.62 million shares to the fund at a price of 78.3 riyals per share.
The sovereign fund is taking up a 10 percent stake in Qatari banks -- the remainder of a planned 20 percent purchase announced during the global financial crisis -- to provide support to its local lenders.
QIA's move is slated to take place in the first quarter and is likely to boost confidence in the sector.
Qatar's central bank issued a 50 billion-riyal ($13.74 billion) three-year bond to local banks last week to raise funds for development projects and to drain excess money from the banking system. [ID:nLDE70G1GU]
Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, Qatar's largest lender by market capitalisation, posted a 40.2 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 10, beating analysts' expectations as financing and interest income soared. [ID:nLDE70912W].
Qatar National Bank was the first major regional lender to report earnings and is closely watched for indications of the sector's performance.
CBQ shares closed 2.2 percent lower on the Qatar bourse Sunday before the results were announced. The broader index .QSI dropped 1.5 percent.
(Reporting by Regan E. Doherty; Editing by Dinesh Nair)