DUBAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) plans to raise up to 2 billion riyals ($549.4 million) through a capital-boosting sukuk; the latest Gulf bank eyeing debt markets to replenish its reserves after a period of strong lending growth.
Qatar's largest sharia-compliant institution by assets announced the sukuk after reporting fourth-quarter net profit that was up an estimate-beating 30.4 percent year on year, according to Reuters calculations.
Unlike European peers that have been dogged by capital concerns in recent years, Gulf banks have increasingly turned to capital-enhancing bonds for positive reasons, seeking to build on existing growth and diversify their sources of capital.
New Basel III banking standards, due to come into full force in 2019, will also oblige banks to set aside more capital.
A number of Saudi banks have used the local-currency sukuk market to raise instruments that enhance their Tier 2 -- or supplementary -- capital in the past two years, while banks from the United Arab Emirates have also sold bonds and sukuk that enhance core Tier 1 capital.
The latest was a Tier 1 sukuk from Dubai Islamic Bank , completed last week.
On Sunday QIB said that its board had proposed a Basel III-compliant Tier 1 sukuk worth up to 2 billion riyals, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
QIB's total capital adequacy ratio, a combination of Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital -- regarded as one of the key indicators of a bank's health -- stood at 14 percent at the end of 2014, against a 12.5 percent minimum prescribed by Qatar's central bank.
Qatari banks have been able to build their loan books at a fast pace in recent years as the Gulf state spends billions of dollars developing infrastructure and prepares to host the 2022 soccer World Cup finals.
QIB's lending book jumped 27 percent in 2014 to stand at 60 billion riyals on Dec. 31, while deposits surged by 32 percent to reach 67 billion riyals at the end of last year.
This helped the bank make a net profit of 470 million riyals during the fourth quarter, according to Reuters calculations based on financial statements, compared with 360.3 million riyals in the last three months of 2013 and well ahead of the 333.3 million riyal average estimate of five analysts polled by Reuters.
The bank's board proposed a cash dividend of 4.25 riyals per share for 2014, up from 4 riyals for 2013, the statement added.
(Reuters / 18 January 2015)
Alfalah Consulting - Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com