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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Qatar Islamic Bank to set up Kazakhstan unit


DUBAI, May 19 (Reuters) - Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA said on Monday it had agreed to set up a new unit in Kazakhstan as part of plans to expand outside its home market.
"The memorandum of understanding underlines Qatar Islamic Bank's intent to consolidate its expansion plan outside Qatar," Qatar's fourth-largest lender by market value said in a statement on the bourse website.
It gave no further details.
Gulf Arab banks, buoyed by economic windfall from record oil prices, are increasingly looking outside their home markets, where greater competition is encouraging them to grow through acquisitions and branch expansion.
Qatar Islamic already has subsidiaries in Malaysia, Lebanon and the United Kingdom.
It is seeking an Islamic banking licence in Turkey and is considering buying a bank in Egypt in the next year, a company spokesman told Reuters in March.
Shares of Qatar Islamic closed down 0.08 percent on Monday.
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