Qatar National Bank shares surged the most in eight years as the biggest lender in the Middle East and North Africa seeks to almost double its foreign ownership limit. The stock jumped as much as 10 percent, the biggest intraday advance since March 2010, to 129.80 riyals at 10:36 a.m. in Doha. That pushed Qatar’s benchmark stock index up 2.8 percent. The bank will seek approval to increase non-Qatari ownership to 49 percent from 25 percent at an yet-to-be scheduled extraordinary general assembly, the Doha-based lender said in a statement. Foreign investors currently own about 7 percent of QNB, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The announcement comes a day after Emirates NBD, the region’s third-largest bank, said it would seek to increase its foreign ownership limit to 20 percent from 5 percent and raise capital by 7.35 billion dirhams ($2 billion). The shares climbed 4.5 percent after surging 14 percent in Dubai on Sunday.
Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg