Qatar’s Masraf al Rayan targets Libyan bank stake

Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan is seeking permission from its shareholders to buy a stake in a Libyan commercial bank, the Islamic lender said in a statement.

Rayan says plans to finance the acquisition through a capital increase, Reuters said.

On Sunday, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar's fourth-largest bank by market value, posted a 16.3 percent increase in full-year net profit.

The sharia-compliant bank made a net profit of QAR1.41bn (US$384.45m) in 2011, compared with QAR1.21bn in the previous year.

Earnings profit for the fourth quarter was QAR396m according to Reuters calculations, a 37 percent jump from the QAR289m it made in same period a year earlier.

The bank's assets stood at QAR55.27bn at the end of last year, up 59.4 percent from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, customer deposits increased by 71.2 percent to QAR46.26bn at the end of 2011.

The board has proposed a QAR0.50 per share dividend for the second half of 2011, taking the full-year amount to QAR1.10 per share, the statement added.

Shares in Masraf Al Rayan declined 1.2 percent before the results were announced on Sunday, while the Qatar bourse index rose 0.1 percent.

* With Reuters

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