QNB said to be weigh­ing fund­ing op­tions

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Dubai, UAE - Qatar Na­tional Bank QPSC (QNB) is con­sid­er­ing op­tions to raise fi­nanc­ing as an on­go­ing stand­off with its Gulf neigh­bours threat­ens to weaken liq­uid­ity in the gas-rich coun­try, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.

The Mid­dle East’s largest lender by as­sets held early dis­cus­sions with in­ter­na­tional banks about the pos­si­bil­ity of a pri­vate place­ment, bond sale or loan in the fourth quar­ter, said the peo­ple, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied. Fi­nal de­ci­sions haven’t been made and the bank may de­cide against a deal, the peo­ple said.

Qatari lenders are un­der pres­sure af­ter Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplo­matic re­la­tions and closed trans­port routes in June, ac­cus­ing the na­tion of fund­ing ex­trem­ist groups, a charge it de­nies. For­eign de­posits at Qatar’s banks may fall fur­ther af­ter drop­ping the most in al­most two years in June as some Gulf lenders refuse to roll over hold­ings, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said last week.

There is no def­i­nite de­ci­sion in this re­gard, a QNB spokesper­son said.

The bank’s ex­pan­sion into Asia is help­ing QNB off­set the im­pact of the Saudi-led spat, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ali al Kuwari said last month. QNB aims to cut the in­come gen­er­ated from its do­mes­tic mar­ket to 50 per cent by 2020 from about 63 per cent cur­rently, Kuwari said.

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