Commercial Bank of Qatar misses forecasts with 99% profit slump

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the Gulf Arab state’s third-largest lender by assets, reported a 99 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, according to Reuters calculations. This meant it widely missed analysts forecasts as it was hit by provisions and weakness among its overseas investments. The bank earned a net profit of 1.4 million riyals ($384,499) in the three months to Dec. 31, compared with a profit of 100.9 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, Reuters calculated based on financial statements in lieu of a…

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Rosneft purchase leads $82 billion spree by sovereign investors in 2016

Qatar’s purchase of a stake in Russian oil company Rosneft last month crowned a year of mega-acquisitions by sovereign investors in 2016, with total deal value rising 22 percent to $82 billion whilst the number of transactions held steady. Other high-profile 2016 deals involving sovereign investors – a category consisting of wealth funds, central banks and state-run pension funds – included Melbourne Port and a stake in ride-hailing app Uber. The plunge in the pound in the wake of Brexit attracted some foreign buyers to UK real estate, whilst 2017…

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Qatar's Hamad International to boost capacity with major expansion plan

Hamad International Airport is to undergo a major expansion to increase the its capacity to more than 65 million passengers. Speaking at a press conference where the airport was awards a global 5-Star Airport rating by Skytrax, the international air transport research organisation, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the project will start this year and will be completed “as soon as possible”. “The government has approved the expansion of the airport,” Al Baker told reporters. “There is a new steering committee that has been formulated under the chairmanship…

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Murray and Djokovic face off in Doha final

Andy Murray and champion Novak Djokovic will go toe-to-toe in the Qatar Open final after the world’s top two players laid down their markers for the 2017 season. World number one Murray swept aside Czech third seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-4 to record his 28th consecutive victory and will be targeting a sixth title in succession on Saturday. Djokovic, who was deposed as world number one by Murray in November and was beaten by the Scot in their last showdown – in the title match of the 2016 season-ending ATP…

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Qatar's GDP growth set to rebound in 2017 on World Cup spending

Qatar’s real GDP growth is expected to moderate to about 2.7 percent in 2016 but is projected to reach 3.4 percent in 2017 as the country effectively adjusts to the new reality of sustained lower energy prices, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a new research note, the IMF said the rise in 2017 growth reflects an expansion in the non-hydrocarbon sector due to World Cup-related spending and supported by added output from the new Barzan gas project. It added that during 2017–18, the Gulf state will see…

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