DOHA, (Reuters) – Provisions made by Qatari banks rose 1.36 percent month-on-month in May after falling 2 percent in the previous month, while credit growth rose 3.5 percent, data from the Gulf country’s central bank showed on Thursday.
Total provisions in the world’s largest natural gas exporter reached 5.96 billion riyals ($1.64 billion) at the end of May, up from 5.88 billion in the previous month. Bank loans remained flat at 254.3 billion riyals.
Some Qatari banks have taken steep provisions for exposure to debt-ridden Saudi family firms, while the government pumped funds into the sector last year to keep it stable following the global credit crunch.
Major Qatari banks reported mixed results in the first quarter, with some still feeling tremors from the global financial crisis. Commercial Bank of Qatar reported a 36.7 percent fall in quarterly profit, while Doha Bank posted a 4.5 percent net profit drop.
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 1.6 percent to 487.4 billion riyals in May, the data showed.