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Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group has announced acquisition of a 49% stake in the Bank of Commerce and Development, one of the leading private banks in the Libyan financial sector.

The announcement was made during the extraordinary general assembly of the Bank of Commerce and Development which was held in Benghazi, Libya on Thursday April 12th 2012. It approved QNB Group as a strategic partner of the Bank according to the memorandum of agreement between the two institutions.

On the occasion, Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer, expressed confidence for this strategic partnership which comes in line with QNB Group’s strategic plan of international expansion in selected and promising markets. The Group looks forward to increasing fields in the Libyan market which is anticipated to record healthy growth rates paving the way to a wide range of banking services in partnership with the Bank of Commerce and Development.

Mr. Jamal Abdelmalek, Chairman of The Bank of Commerce and Development valued this step indicating that this agreement will result in an increase in the Bank’s capital, which will support its financial position and its ability to expand in the Libyan market. It will also allow the Bank to benefit from the expertise of QNB Group as one of the largest and most important banks in the Middle East and North Africa region. He added that the Board of Directors and Executive Management of the Bank of Commerce and Development are looking forward to working closely with QNB Group.

The Bank of Commerce and Development was established in 1995 and has a network of 32 branches supported by 82 ATMs, with nearly 820 staff. The Bank’s total assets are USD 2 billion.

QNB Group will be represented in the Bank of Commerce and Development’s Board of Directors with a percentage equal to its shareholding as per this agreement. QNB Group will provide administrative and technical services for the operations of the Bank of Commerce and Development. This will strengthen the technical and administrative capabilities of the Bank in addition to harmonizing objectives, policies and procedures of both banks’ operations and standardizing risk management strategy for the benefit of the two institutions.

QNB Group will offer added advantage from its international expertise and specialized services provided by its subsidiaries and wholly-owned companies, including QNB International Holdings, which is headquartered in Luxembourg, QNB Capital, registered in the Qatar Financial Centre, QNB Banque Privée (Suisse) the full private banking subsidiary of the QNB Group in Geneva Switzerland; and QNB financial Services , which offers best-in-class financial brokerage services to retail and institutional clients allowing access to local, regional and international markets.

QNB Group has achieved strong financial results for the first quarter of 2012 with a net profit of QR2.0 billion, up by 17.4% compared to the same period last year. Total assets increased by 28.2% since 31 March 2011 to reach QR311.1 billion, the highest ever achieved by the Group.

The Group is currently present in more than 24 countries around the world through branches, subsidiaries and associates. The Group, which employs nearly 7000 staff, provides an array of banking services to a global standard through 335 branches & offices with an ATM network of more than 650 machines.

As part of the Group’s unique performance, QNB was recently named one of the World’s 50 Safest Banks and one of the Safest Banks in the Middle East, according to the latest update published by Global Finance in April 2012. QNB also became the number 1 brand in the MENA region, and moved up to the 114th place amongst the world's top 500 banking brands as compared to place 189 in 2011.

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