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Qatar National May Become Holder in Bank Kesawan

Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf country’s biggest lender by assets, may become the controlling shareholder of PT Bank Kesawan after a planned rights offering by the Indonesian lender.

The banks signed a “letter of intent” which makes the Qatari lender the “standby buyer” for the offer, Doha-based Qatar National said in an e-mailed statement today. The offer is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

“The Letter of Intent with Bank Kesawan supports QNB’s international expansion plans, which in recent years have become an integral part of the Bank’s growth strategy and commitment to diversify the sources of its revenue,” Qatar National said in the statement.

Qatar National’s foreign operations accounted for 34 percent of deposits last quarter and 18 percent of loans and advances, according to figures provided by the bank. The lender operates branches, offices and affiliates in 24 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, according to today’s statement.

The bank seeks to expand to 42 countries, Chief Executive Officer Shareef Al Emadi said in July.

Jakarta-based Bank Kesawan runs 33 branches in Indonesia and has total assets of about 2.3 trillion rupiah ($255 million), according to today’s statement.

AlBaraka Banking Group, the largest publicly traded lender in Bahrain, delayed a plan to purchase Bank Kesawan, Ramzi Zuhdi, a director of Islamic banking at Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, said in March 2009.

Qatar National shares rose 1.6 percent to 142.9 riyals on the Qatar Exchange, the highest close since August 2008.

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