QNB: Strained but undefeated
Regional difficulties have tested QNB’s resilience, but the bank has managed to consolidate its position at home and maintain its international strength.
A year ago Euromoney reported that Qatar National Bank was weathering the storm that had descended on Qatar in large part thanks to its bold geographical expansion during the previous decade.
As Qatar’s neighbours blockaded the emirate, its largest bank was able to survive thanks to its dominance at home and its large presence outside the Gulf.
Since then, the environment in which QNB operates has become no less difficult. What might have been a brief geopolitical tiff has turned into a permanent state of affairs. Qatar’s emir did not join his former allies at the latest Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in December, confirming that no thaw in tensions is on the horizon.
For the time being, QNB has to do largely without Qatar’s main economic partners of the past. Outside the Gulf, the bank has also had to contend with a fresh plunge of the lira in Turkey, another of its key markets.
Still, its numbers are holding up, if less impressively than they once did.
“Today, Qatar has successfully overcome the blockade and it has served as a catalyst and platform for future long-term growth where the challenges imposed were transformed into opportunities,” QNB’s acting chief executive, Abdulla Mubarak Al-Khalifa, tells Euromoney.