Middle Eastern Banks

Middle Eastern Banks

Shares of Qatar National Bank  (QNB) climbed the most in eight years today as the biggest lender in the Middle East and North Africa seeks to almost double its foreign ownership limit.

The bank will seek approval to increase non-Qatari ownership to 49 percent from 25 percent at an  extraordinary general assembly. Foreign investors currently own about 7 percent of QNB.

The news follows an announcement that Emirates NBD 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 market reacted very positively to the news.