QIB’s Gamal warns of profit threat to every bank
Profit pressure is a threat to every bank, says Qatar Islamic Bank’s group CEO Bassel Gamal, discussing how Qatar’s robust and well-capitalized banking sector is navigating the twin shocks of lower oil prices and coronavirus.
Never letting a good crisis go to waste, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, Qatar has used a three-year fall out with its Gulf neighbours to shore-up its economy and finances.
However, even the world’s richest nation per capita is not immune to the Covid-19 crisis, and growth is forecast to slow to minus 2% in 2020 after an estimated 0.6% positive growth in 2019, according to Fitch.
At the helm of the Gulf state’s largest Islamic lender Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is Bassel Gamal. While he says the impact of the virus on QIB’s first-quarter results was “not material”, he is aware that Qatar is not immune to the slowdown in global business.
The bank reported solid Q1 results, with its operating income increasing 3.8% vs Q1 2019, its net profitability up 0.3%, assets growth at 6.9%, and deposits increasing by 2.3% during the same period.
“In the short term, even the best-positioned banks will have to deal with some profit pressure,” he says.