Qatar National Bank announced on Thursday it has increased its stake in Dubai based-Commercial Bank International PSC (CBI) from 16.5% to 39.9% in a deal thought to be worth about $75 million.
“The purchase reflects the confidence in the prospects of the financial sector in the United Arab Emirates,” Gulf country’s biggest bank by assets said in an e-mailed statement. According to Bloomberg calculations, the 22.5% stake is equivalent to 329 million shares, and would be worth $75 million based on today’s 84 fils share price.
The UAE, 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% stake in UAE’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% stake in Iraq’s Mansour Bank and taking 49% 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.