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Qatari bank provisions rise 2.2 pct m/m in July

Loans grew 1.6 percent.

August 18, 2010 8:53 by

Provisions made by Qatari banks rose 2.2 percent month-on-month in July, slower than in the previous month, while loans grew 1.6 percent, data from the Gulf country’s central bank showed on Tuesday.

Total provisions in the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter increased to 6.38 billion riyals ($1.75 billion) at the end of July, after rising 4.6 percent in the previous month.

Monthly growth in specific loan provisions slowed to 2.0 percent, from 5.3 percent in June, the data showed.

Some Qatari banks have taken large provisions for exposure to debt-ridden Saudi family firms in the past; while the government pumped funds into the sector last year to keep it stable following the global credit crunch.

Bank loans rose to 262.6 billion riyals in July, after increasing by 1.7 percent month-on-month at the end of June, and were 30 percent higher than a year ago, the data showed.

Major Qatari banks reported robust results in the second quarter, with Qatar National Bank posting a 35 percent jump in quarterly profit. Commercial Bank of Qatar reported a 23 percent increase in the second-quarter profit.

The Qatari government spent about 6.5 percent of the Gulf state’s gross domestic product last year on capital injections and other measures to maintain stability in the sector.

Total assets in the OPEC member’s banking sector rose 1.5 percent month-on-month to 513.1 billion riyals in July, the data showed.

(Reporting by Regan E. Doherty)

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