Reuters – Qatar National Bank (QNB) is aiming to become the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa by 2017, its finance head said on Thursday, as the bank continues to look beyond its home market for growth opportunities.
Currently the biggest bank in the Gulf region, it is looking for acquisition targets in Turkey, Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, Chief Financial Officer Ramzi Mari told Reuters in an interview at the bank’s Doha headquarters.
However, the lender, which bought Societe Generale’s Egyptian business last year, is not currently working on any acquisitions, he said.
The bank is targeting a net profit increase of between 7 and 9% and loan growth of between 12 and 14% in 2014, with international markets becoming increasingly important in fuelling higher lending, said Mari.
QNB’s net interest margin in 2014 was expected to be in the region of 2.8 to 2.9%, he added.