For the first time in history of the region, QNB became the first banking institution to record total assets of QR1 trillion ($282bn), representing an increase of 9 percent from last year. QNB’s disciplined approach towards execution of its long-term strategy enabled the Group to achieve QR1 trillion Total Asset milestone after 56 years of successful operation since inception. QNB announced yesterday its results for the year ended December 31, 2020. The net profit of QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, for the full year ended December 31, 2020 reached QR12bn ($3.3bn), a decrease of 16 percent compared to last year. Operating Income increased by 1 percent compared to last year despite the impact of COVID-19 and the decline in oil prices. This reflects QNB Group’s success in maintaining growth across the range of revenue sources. Considering the long-term financial impacts of COVID-19, QNB Group decided to set aside an additional QR5.8bn in respect of loan loss provisions as a precautionary measure, which affected the net profit for the year. The Board of Directors have recommended to the General Assembly the distribution of a cash dividend of 45 percent of the nominal share value (QR0.45 per share). The financial results for 2020 along with the profit distribution are subject to Qatar Central Bank (QCB) approval. The growth in total assets was mainly driven by strong growth in Loans and Advances by 7 percent to reach QR724bn ($199bn). On the funding side, QNB diversified its customer deposits generation which helped to increase deposits by 8 percent, to reach QR739bn ($203bn) from December 31, 2019. During the year, QNB Group renewed its drive for cost rationalisation in addition to sustainable revenue generating sources. This has helped QNB Group to materially improve the efficiency (cost to income) ratio from 25.9 percent to 24.3 percent which is considered one of the best ratios among the large financial institutions in the MEA region. QNB strengthened its asset and liability management capabilities helping to reduce its loans to deposits ratio from 99.2 percent to 98 percent as at December 31, 2020 mainly due to conservative credit underwriting during the year and more focus on deposit generation given the current low interest rate environment. The ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans amounted to 2.1 percent as at December 31, 2020, one of the lowest amongst financial institutions in the MEA region, reflecting the high quality of the Group’s loan book and the effective management of credit risk. The Group’s conservative policy in regard to provisioning for potential loan losses resulted in the coverage ratio improving to 107 percent as at December 31, 2020. Total Equity increased by 2 percent to reach QR97bn ($27bn) as at December 31, 2020. Earnings per Share reached QR1.19 ($0.33), compared to QR1.45 ($0.40) in December 2019. At December 31, 2020, QNB Group reported robust levels of capital measured in terms of the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 19.1 percent, higher than the regulatory minimum requirements of the Qatar Central Bank and Basel Committee. QNB Group serves a customer base of approximately 20 million customers supported by 28,000 staff resources operating from 1,000 locations and more than 4,300 ATMs.