x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Doha Bank plans Hong Kong office

Doha Bank plans to open an office in Hong Kong and is seeking to acquire licences in India and Saudi Arabia as the Gulf country's lenders broaden their reach.

Doha Bank, Qatar's fourth-largest lender, plans to open an office in Hong Kong and is seeking to acquire licences in India and Saudi Arabia as the Gulf country's lenders broaden their reach.

The bank, whose first-quarter profit beat estimates, seeks to open the office in a "couple months" to promote trade and investment banking, chief executive Raghavan Seetharaman said in an interview. Doha Bank will reach its goal of doubling overseas profit by 2015 if it gets licences on the subcontinent.

The lender with assets of 10.4 billion Qatari riyals is expanding as gas-rich Qatar spends billions of dollar acquiring companies and stakes abroad. Qatar National Bank, the country's biggest lender and buyer of the Egyptian unit of Societe Generale, said last week it plans to start operations in India in the third quarter. Commercial Bank of Qatar acquired a stake in Turkey's Alternatifbank.

Doha Bank aims to commit US$1.5 billion focusing on small and medium enterprises as well as corporate clients in the United Arab Emirates where it is setting up corporate and project finance teams, Mr Seetharaman said May 21.

The lender, which attracted 2.8bn riyals in a rights offer in March, still plans to list shares in London, Mr Seetharaman said.

 

* Bloomberg News