To mark the publication of the interim audited financial statements for the first half of 2014, I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to H.E. Chairman of the Board, Directors, Chief Executive Officer, the heads of the functional groups and to all staff for their commitment and achievements during the last six months of 2014.
The first half of this year has witnessed fndamentali events, including holding the General Meeting Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting in March 2014 where he obtained shareholder approval to acquire one or more branches of a MNC banks in India to use It had his license by the competent authorities of the bank to undertake banking activities in India. We have already reached an agreement in April with HSBC Bank Oman to buy their banking operations in India. Work is underway to implement the transaction after obtaining the approval of the competent regulatory authorities in Qatar, India, Oman and Jersey. Finance Bank has also hosted the knowledge sharing sessions on "Opportunities in Qatar and GCC 'in the cities of Mumbai and Chennai in India as a precursor to its entry into the Indian market. The sessions were well attended by several heads of Indian companies , entrepreneurs and senior officials of both the economic and banking sectors.
In June 2014, Finance Bank has won the "Best Regional Commercial Bank" by Banker Middle East Magazine thanks to strong financial position enjoyed Finance Bank at the local, regional and international levels and its role as a pioneer in providing products and innovative banking services.
Despite the great competition in the Qatari market and the influence of the global financial crisis and the worsening of the euro crisis in the European Union, we had the opportunity to achieve significant results and noteworthy both financially and service. We put on the market many banking services and innovative products, and posted a net profit of QR 787 million by the end of the first half of the year. We also arrived at high growth ratios in most of the financial indicators and performance compared to other banks. Return on average equity ratio recorded 16.5% and return on average assets ratio recorded 2.3%.
The economy of Qatar is still living a moment that sees the acceptable rates of growth despite the recession that has overwhelmed the various economies in all countries of the world especially in the EU and the Middle East. Moreover, as the State of Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the boom of various economic sectors and the launch of new development projects is expected in the coming years. To achieve our objectives, we expect that both management and the staff pours forth even more effort. Given that, the economic slowdown and adverse conditions experienced by the various capital markets around the world have given us greater responsibilities, we need to have a strong collaboration between all of us to achieve our long anelati purposes. So, we need to increase our efforts in the coming period and work together as a team to achieve our goals areas.
Finally, I want to share once again my thanks and appreciation to all those who have contributed to achieving these results. Nevertheless, there is still much work to do and so many goal difference to get. We believe that you will win all these challenges in the coming period and we assure our soupporto, as always.
Dr. Hassan S Farran
Chairman & General Manager