Doha Bank, Qatar’s largest private commercial bank, has opened its second UAE branch in the capital Abu Dhabi, the lender announced.
The branch marks the Doha Bank’s 11th overseas branch. Other international branches include Kuwait, Dubai, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and Germany.
“Qatar-UAE bilateral trade was close to US$2bn in 2011 and is expected to increase in 2012," Dr R Seetharaman, the lender’s group CEO, said at the opening of the Abu Dhabi branch.
"The Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 plan expects revenue from the non-oil sector to account for 60 per cent of the GDP. Tourism is a major component of this plan. In addition to tourism, other contributors include supporting industries such as aluminum production, petrochemicals and media," Seetharaman cited as reasons for setting up the branch.
The bank serves more than 150,000 customers and has around 38 domestic branches. In October, sources told Reuters that Doha Bank is considering selling shares in London as part of a plan to boost capital by up to US$1.6bn in 2013.
The lender, part-owned by the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, may raise about a quarter of the capital through an issue of global depository receipts on the London Stock Exchange, with the remainder raised through a local rights issue, two of the sources said.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the state fund, owns a near-17 percent stake in Doha Bank, according to the lender's 2011 annual report.
Qatari banks are expected to benefit from the country's breakneck expansion plans - Qatar will host soccer's World Cup in 2022 - and many have already tapped debt capital markets this year to raise cash for long-term lending.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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