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Awards for Excellence 2009: Qatar

Best Bank: Qatar National Bank

Qatar’s leaders are taking pre-emptive action to ensure that none of its banks gets into difficulty. Last year the Qatar Investment Authority bought 5% stakes in all local banks and is expected to take another 5% later this year, except in Qatar National Bank, which is already 50% state owned.

The government is also buying property investments worth up to $4.1 billion from the banks, as well as equity portfolios worth another $6 billion in a bid to prop them up. The tactic appears to have worked, with the stock market, up more than 40% since the measures were announced in March.

Against this background of government support, Qatar National Bank takes the award of best bank in Qatar. In 2008 its net profits grew 46%, its total assets jumped 33% and earnings per share increased to QR15.4