Commercial Bank, Qatar's second largest lender by assets, sees greater prospects in 2014. Commercial Bank posted a full-year net profit of QR1.6bn last year. Qatar's second largest lender by assets sees greater prospects in 2014 on "improving profitability and lending and continued strong performance" of its associates. The bank's 2012 net profit stood at QR2.01bn. The profit for the fourth quarter of 2013 was up 7% to QR300mn, Commercial Bank said yesterday. Total assets went up 41% to QR113bn in 2013. Customer loans and advances rose 38% to QR66.9bn while deposits scaled up 53% to QR63.4bn in 2013. Commercial Bank chairman HE Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Attiyah said, "2013 was an important year for Commercial Bank as we continue to build a bank that is capable of delivering long-term value to its shareholders and customers. We invested in our international strategy with the acquisition of ABank in Turkey, which we intend to develop into a market leading Turkish bank. "Following the acquisition, Commercial Bank and its Associates in the UAE and Oman are now well positioned to capture the growing trade and investment flows between Turkey and the GCC. Qatar's infrastructure investment requirement and its rapidly diversifying economy require world-leading banking products and services. The investment we have made in the business and in our people this year will ensure that Commercial Bank continues to grow its market share and shareholder value." Commercial Bank managing director Hussain Alfardan said, "The improving trends witnessed in the third quarter have continued into the fourth quarter of the year and we continue to see good momentum as we enter 2014. The prudent, higher provisioning taken during the fourth quarter, as we indicated as a potential outcome earlier in the year, resulted in net profit of QR1.6bn for the year. However, net profit for fourth quarter 2013 increased by 7% over the third quarter 2013 to QR300mn." The bank's net provisions for impairment losses increased to QR714mn in 2013 compared with QR202mn in 2012, and comprised provisions of QR604mn for loans and advances and QR110mn for financial investments. Although non-performing loan ratio increased marginally to 3.6% in December 2013 from 3.3% at 30 September 2013, the coverage ratio improved to 54% as at December 2013 compared to 48% in September 2013. Impairment provisions on the bank's investment portfolio increased to QR110mn in 2013 compared with QR62mn in 2012, reflecting a general decline in the valuations of certain emerging market equities and currency fluctuation. The bank's risk reserve stood at QR1.31bn in December last year, meeting the revised minimum level of 2.5% (2% for end of 2012) set by the Qatar Central Bank for 2013. In December 2013, the bank raised QR2bn of additional Tier 1 capital instruments through a private placement, which complies with Basel III requirements and the Qatar Central Bank guidelines. The bank's capital position remains strong with a capital adequacy ratio of 14.1% in December 2013, which is above the QCB's required minimum level of 10%. Commercial Bank group chief executive officer Andrew Stevens said, "The investments and strategic decisions we have taken during the course of the year mean that Commercial Bank is now in a stronger position to pursue growth over the long-term to the benefit of shareholders and customers". Commercial Bank CEO Abdulla Saleh al-Raisi said "We have invested heavily in our corporate and retail banking offers, ensuring our customers benefit from a far more integrated range of products and services." 40% cash, bonus share dividend proposed Commercial Bank's board of directors has recommended a cash dividend of 20% of the share's nominal value to shareholders for 2013, which equates to QR2 a share, and bonus shares of 20% (one bonus share for every five shares held). The recommendation will be placed for approval before the bank's annual general assembly on March 16. The financial results and profit distribution are subject to Qatar Central Bank approval, Commercial Bank said.