Qatar National Raises Stake in Dubai Commercial Bank to 40%

Qatar National Bank SAQ (QNBK), the Persian Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets, raised its stake in Dubai based-Commercial Bank International PSC (CBI) to 39.9 percent from 16.5 percent in a deal that may be worth about $75 million.

The purchase “reflects the confidence in the prospects of the financial sector in the United Arab Emirates,” Qatar National said in an e-mailed statement. The 22.5 percent stake is equivalent to 329 million shares, according to Bloomberg calculations, and would be worth $75 million based on today’s 84 fils share price.

The U.A.E., a union of seven emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has the biggest banking market in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the country’s second-biggest lender, also bought a 40 percent stake in U.A.E.’s United Arab Bank PSC during 2007 and 2008 to expand in the country.

Qatar National Bank is expanding in foreign markets amid limited domestic growth prospects. Recent acquisitions include a 51 percent stake in Iraq’s Mansour Bank and taking 49 percent of Libya’s closely-held Bank of Commerce & Development. The bank is now present in 24 countries, it said today in the statement.

Commercial Bank International had assets of 12 billion dirhams at the end of June, according to Bloomberg data. It reported a profit of 75.2 million dirhams in the second quarter and had net revenues of 167.7 million dirhams.

Qatar National Bank rose 0.5 percent today to 134.1 riyals in Doha today, valuing the bank at 93.8 billion riyals. Its shares have fallen 3 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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