Doha Bank seeks to issue shares to QIA

Doha Bank, Qatar’s third- biggest bank by assets, said yesterday it would seek shareholder approval to raise its capital by up to 20 per cent and give that stake to the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Shareholders would meet on December 21 to discuss the plan, which would involve issuing up to 34.45 million new shares to the QIA at the bank’s closing share price on October 12, Doha Bank said in a statement on the bourse website. The increase would happen in two phases, it added. The move follows ones by other Qatari banks, including Commercial Bank of Qatar and Qatar International Islamic Bank, which have sold stakes to the sovereign wealth fund. In October, the QIA launched a $5.3 billion (Dh19.4bn) plan to buy shares of listed banks to shore up investor confidence in banks, amid the global financial crisis. Doha Bank opened a representative office in Seoul, South Korea, as part of its expansion into Asia. Besides Seoul, the bank operates representative offices in Istanbul, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Bucharest, and London, Doha Bank said yesterday in a statement to the Qatari bourse website. Agencies