Full steam ahead on Qatar National Bank acquisitions

Qatar National Bank expands in Tunisia after a share sale by the country's government, marking its fifth major acquisition of the past twelve months.

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Qatar National Bank has shown no signs of stopping on the acquisition trail, announcing it had taken full control of Tunisian Qatari Bank this month.

Qatar's biggest lender increased its stake from 49.9 per cent to 99.9 per cent, following a tender offer by the Tunisian government during the final quarter of last year.

"QNB Group would strengthen and support the technical and administrative resources of the Tunisian Qatari Bank, and strengthen the risk management framework in light of the strategies adopted by QNB Group, in order to allow it to benefit from the group's international reach and the dedicated services provided by its affiliates and wholly owned subsidiaries," said the bank.

Consisting of 19 branches and 198 staff, the Tunisian Qatari Bank was the first investment bank in the country and partnered with the Qatari government in 2004. QNB acquired the government's stake in 2008.

The bank's acquisition follows a year of expansion for QNB that resulted in it becoming the Middle East's biggest lender by total assets.

The bank increased or acquired large stakes in Dubai-based Commercial Bank International, Iraq's Mansour Bank and Libya's Commerce and Development Bank.

It recently agreed to purchase of the Egyptian assets of Société Générale, France's second-biggest lender.