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Tue 11 Jan 2011 01:42 PM

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Qatar wealth fund to buy remaining 10% of bank shares

QIA will complete 20% stake purchase by end of first quarter, says Prime Minister

Qatar wealth fund to buy remaining 10% of bank shares
(Getty Images)
Qatar wealth fund to buy remaining 10% of bank shares
Views of the Pearl area on January 5, 2011 in Doha, Qatar. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reiterated its projection for the Qatari economy with predictions of double digit growth for 2010 and 2011. Though natural gas and petroleum production are still the biggest two single sources of income, the non-energy sector overtook oil and gas in Qatari GDP for 2009. Qatar is heavily dependent on foreign labour from countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Phillipines and other Arab countries. Foreigners make up approximately two thirds of the Qatari population. The FIFA world cup 2022 will takes place in Qatar. (Getty Images)

Qatar
Investment Authority, the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, will complete its
purchase of a 20 percent stake in certain Qatar banks by the end of the first
quarter, state-run Qatar News Agency reported.

The
wealth fund will purchase up to 20 percent of shares in certain banks, the
agency said, citing

Prime
Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jaber Al Thani, without specifying the
lenders.

The fund has already raised its stake in banks by 10 percent, the news agency
reported, in a bid to prop up lenders damaged by the economic crisis.

The
stake buy would not cover any dividends resulting from the bank's activities in
2010.

QIA
began buying bank shares in December 2008 after announcing it planned to inject
$5.3bn in local banks – including Commercial Bank and Doha Bank - to shore up
investor confidence and sustain project financing during the downturn.