Increasing profits help Qatar prepare for large-scale projects


This report was first published in "Islamic Finance news Volume 10 Issue 19" dated 15.05.13 -

Many banks in Qatar are now enjoying strong government support and steady loan growth in their home market. This comfort is pushing conventional and Islamic banks to expand by acquiring stakes in other lenders across the region and around the globe.

Masraf Al Rayan registered a 13.3% year-on-year increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2013 at QAR400 million (US$109.87 million). The Islamic bank is now in the final stages of due diligence to acquire a stake in a Libyan lender. Masraf Al Rayan is also in the advanced stages of meeting the requirements for the acquisition of UK-based Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB).

Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), which has been in discussions since last June with Masraf Al Rayan to sell a controlling stake in IBB, has raised US$15.37 million to narrow the loss gap for IBB. IBB was able to raise the amount by placing 1 billion shares with QIIB at a price of 1 penny each, raising the number of its outstanding ordinary shares to 4.5 billion. QIIB now owns 91% of IBB.

Originally published in Islamic Finance News on May 15, 2013.

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