Qatar's QNB eyes major stake in Moroccan bank

Qatar National Bank signs deal to buy majority stake in Union Marocaine des Banques

Qatar National Bank has signed a deal to buy a majority stake in Morocco's Marocaine des Banques

Qatar National Bank has signed a deal to buy a majority stake in Morocco's Marocaine des Banques

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf country’s biggest lender, signed an agreement to buy a majority stake in the Morocco-based Union Marocaine des Banques, according to astatement by the Doha lender on Tuesday.

The acquisition is subject to the approval of regulators in both countries and is part of Qatar National’s strategy to expand its presence in Africa, where it already operates in Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania, the lender said in the statement.

Qatar National is expanding overseas as some lenders seek to offload businesses amid Europe’s sovereign debt crises.

The bank is the last serious bidder for Turkey’s Denizbank after the withdrawal of HSBC and OAO Sberbank, people familiar with the process said earlier this month.

Qatar National, which posted a 32 percent rise in profit last year, fell 0.2 percent to 146.8 riyals on the Qatar Exchange on Tuesday. The shares are up 2.1 percent over the past year compared to a 6.1 percent drop in the QE Index of Qatari companies.

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