Fitch Affirms Doha Bank ratings at A/Stable
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Doha Bank’s (DB) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A’ with a Stable Outlook. At the same time, the agency has affirmed DB’s Viability Rating at ‘bb+’. DB’s IDRs, Support Rating (SR) and Support Rating Floor (SRF) reflect Fitch’s expectation of an extremely high probability of support from the Qatari authorities for domestic banks in case of need. This reflects the strong ability of Qatar to support its banks, as indicated by its rating (AA-/Stable), combined with Fitch’s belief of a strong willingness to support the banking sector and the bank. The latter is based on a strong track record of sovereign support to the banking sector including i) between 2009 and 1Q 2011 when some banks received capital injections to enhance their capital buffers and the government purchased some problem assets from the banks and ii) during 2H17 when the Qatari authorities placed significant deposits across the banks to support sector liquidity following the start of the blockade between Qatar and some of its neighbors. The government owns stakes in all Qatari banks. DB’s SRF (support rating floor) is at the Qatari bank’s domestic systemically important bank (D-SIB) SRF of ‘A’, and is not differentiated by franchise or level of government ownership because we see an extremely high probability that all rated Qatari banks would receive support should they require it. This belief also partly reflects the risk of contagion (small number of banks and high concentration of banks in the system) and the importance of the banking system in building the local economy. The Stable Outlook on DB’s Long-Term IDR mirrors that on the Qatari sovereign.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank, said that, “given the changing business dynamics, Doha bank has optimally allocated the risk weighted capital to deliver higher returns. The Bank has become strong over the years with total capital adequacy ratio at 17% as of 31st December 2018, through the strategic utilization of the shareholder’s funds. The bank has been consistently managing its Net Interest Margin as the highest amongst its peers.” Doha Bank received the ISO 27001 accreditation which is a testament to commitment towards information security and data protection. Doha Bank has launched first Qatar Exchange Traded Fund listed on Qatar Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘QETF’. Doha Bank and MasterCard launch suite of new Contactless Debit Cards. For the first time, Doha Bank customers will also be able to carry out e-commerce transactions with the added security of Mastercard SecureCode® and QPAY (Qatar Central Bank Payment gateway system) using their Mastercard debit cards. Doha Bank has also launched a new Arabic Doha Sooq website with driver delivery application. It has launched several other new propositions in 2018 such as Al Jana series 7 aimed at longer term savings, Al Dana 2018 scheme, online banking loan origination for Doha Bank customers, What’s app chat service integrated with FB messenger and Hello Doha, enhanced mobile banking app version 6.2.1 with several enhancements as well as enhancement of services through our online and mobile platforms such debit and credit card activation, e-statements and other such features.