Qatar's QNB raises stake in Dubai bank, eyes Egypt

Qatar National Bank more than doubles interest in Commercial Bank International
Qatar's QNB raises stake in Dubai bank, eyes Egypt
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 31 Aug 2012 11:46 AM

Qatar National Bank has more than doubled its stake in Dubai-based Commercial Bank International and is also looking to buy an interest in one of Egypt's biggest banks.

The deal to raise its stake to 39.9 percent from 16.5 percent in Commercial Bank International may be worth about $75m.

The purchase "reflects the confidence in the prospects of the financial sector in the UAE", QNB said in a statement.

The 22.5 percent stake is equivalent to 329 million shares, according to Bloomberg calculations, and would be worth $75m based on Thursday’s 84 fils share price.

QNB, the Gulf state's largest lender by market value, last month reported a 16.7 percent jump in second-quarter profits on growth in loans and deposits.

It is expanding in foreign markets with recent acquisitions including a 51 percent stake in Iraq’s Mansour Bank and a 49 percent of Libya’s Bank of Commerce & Development.

The bank is now present in 24 countries, it said in the statement.

Separately, QNB Group said it has entered into discussions for the acquisition of Societe Generale's holding in National Societe Generale Bank - Egypt.

It said talks were in their early stages and the acquisition would be subject to due diligence.

NSGB - Egypt is one of the largest banks operating in Egypt through a network of 160 branches across the country, with total assets as at June 30 reaching $10.5bn.

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