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Sun 21 Oct 2007 06:11 PM

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Qatar’s al khaliji bank to enter UAE

Young bank is in advanced discussions to buy UAE assets of BLC Bank (France).

Qatar's al khaliji is beginning its planned GCC expansion by entering the UAE, less than one year after the bank was founded.

The bank is in an advanced stage of negotiations to buy the assets of BLC Bank (France) in the UAE, which includes its branches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.

Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) giving al khaliji a period of exclusivity in which to complete the deal.

Negotiations could be completed as early as the end of October, subject to regulatory approval.

Tariq Al Malki, chairman and managing director of al khaliji, said: "This deal presents an ideal fit with our regional expansion plans and we are very pleased that we have been able to demonstrate some of the bank's values in being both bold and swift in seizing this opportunity."

David Proctor, advisor to the chairman and head of al khaliji's executive team, added: "We're a new bank, but have big ambitions across the Gulf, so the large and rapidly-growing UAE market was a natural first step."

Al khaliji was incorporated in Doha in January 2007, and completed its IPO and listing on the Doha Securities Market in August.

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