Libya’s Bank of Commerce and Development (BCD) has agreed to sell a 49 percent stake in itself to the Qatar National Bank (QNB) for an undisclosed amount. The decision was made by BCD shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting held in Benghazi yesterday.
BCD chairman Jamal Abdelmalek said the agreement would result in an increase in the bank’s capital, which will support its financial position and its ability to expand in the Libyan market. Besides an unrevealed capital injection, QNB will be providing administrative support.
Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group CEO said the deal was in line with the company’s strategic plan of international expansion in selected and promising markets, of which Libya was clearly one.
“The QNB group looks forward to increasing fields in the Libyan market which is anticipated to record healthy growth rates, paving the way for a wide range of banking services in partnership with the BCD.”
Privately-owned BCD was set up in 1993 but did not begin operations until June 1996. Headquartered in Benghazi, it now has 32 branches throughout the country with 820 staff a network 82 ATMs.
QNB’s first foray into North Africa was the representative office it opened in Tripoli in 1996. It has offered banking facilities to major Libyan corporate and financial institutions, promoting in particular operations to Europe using the QNB branches in Paris and London.
QNB has branches, subsidiaries or associate institutions in 25 countries. It employs some 7,000 staff, supplying an array of global standard banking services through 335 outlets with an ATM network of more than 650 machines.
QNB has been a regular winner of international awards, including the leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and most recently among the top 50 safest banks in the world.
Qatar National Bank buys 49% stake in Libyan bank
Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf state’s largest bank, has acquired a 49 percent stake in Libya’s Bank of Commerce and Development as part of the Qatari lender’s aggressive expansion strategy.
The Benghazi-based bank approved QNB as a strategic partner, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by the two institutions, a statement from QNB late on Thursday said.
Bank of Commerce and Development, which employs around 820 people, has total assets of $2 billion and a network of 32 branches, the statement said. No other financial details of the transaction was disclosed.
The deal “comes in line with QNB’s strategic plan of international expansion in selected and promising markets,” QNB Group Chief Executive Officer Ali Shareef Al-Emadi said in the statement.
QNB is also said to be in negotiations to acquire Turkey’s Denizbank, the fast-growing Turkish arm of euro zone debt casualty Dexia.
Last week sources said QNB had made a higher bid after earlier talks stalled over price. [ID: nL6E8FB1Z5]
The bank is 50-percent owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and has operations in Syria, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.
Qatar was a major supporter of Libya’s NATO-backed rebels, providing funds, arms and troops and was instrumental in helping overthrow former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
(Reporting By Regan Doherty; Editing by Dinesh Nair)
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