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Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:55 PM

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Qatar's Masraf eyes Oman property stake

Qatari Islamic Bank says looking to take 20% stake in Omani property firm to tap opportunities.

Qatari Islamic Bank Masraf Al-Rayan said on Thursday it was looking to take a 20 percent stake in an Omani property-related firm to tap into real estate opportunities in the sultanate.

Qatar's fifth-largest lender by market value has applied to Qatar's central bank for approval for the stake in National Mass Housing Company, it said in a statement on the bourse website.

"(The) Sultanate of Oman provides a suitable and encouraging investment environment in the real estate sector due to the competitive land, construction materials and labour cost," Masraf said.

Shares of Masraf were down 2.22 percent at 08:30 GMT on Thursday and are down 1.75 percent this year, underperforming the market which is up more than 26 percent in 2008.

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