07/02/2014 08:53 AST

Qatar National Bank (QNB) is aiming to become the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa by 2017, its finance head said, 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 said.

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 percent and loan growth of between 12 and 14 percent in 2014, with international markets becoming increasingly important in fueling higher lending, said Mari.

QNB’s net interest margin in 2014 was expected to be in the region of 2.8 to 2.9 percent, he added.


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