Qatar National Bank (QNB Group), yesterday, announced the acquisition of a 12.5 percent stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.
"This strategic partnership with a leading pan-African bank is a fundamental step towards QNB's strategy of being a Middle East and Africa (MEA) Icon by 2017," the bank said in a press statement.
QNB Group, established in 1964 as the country's first Qatari-owned commercial bank, has an ownership structure split between the Qatar Investment Authority (50%) and the private sector (50%).
It has steadily grown to be one "One of the World's Strongest Banks" and the largest bank in the Middle East and North Africa Region and is by far the leading financial institution in the country with a market share exceeding 45% of banking sector assets.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (Ecobank) was set up in 1985 in Lomé, Togo, where it is headquartered.
It is the leading pan-African bank with a presence in 36 countries across the African continent and in 4 other countries across the globe.
With 20,114 employees, Ecobank is the largest employer in the financial sector industry in Middle Africa.
The bank is one of the top three banks (by assets) in 14 of the countries in which it is present.
As at June 2014, Ecobank had $23.4 billion of assets and had generated $255 million of profit before tax (for the 6 months to 30 June 2014) and operates across its unique network of 1,241 branches, 2,500 ATMs and 16,245 POS terminals servicing over 10.8 million customers.
QNB Group stated that its ambition of being a MEA icon by 2017 is brought closer to realisation through the potential opportunities and commercial benefits resulting from the partnership.
The move, according to QNB, consolidated the growth strategy it has pursued over recent years.
QNB operates in 26 countries and 3 Continents around the world and Africa with branches, subsidiaries and associates operating in the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, South Sudan, Sudan and Tunisia.
QNB was recently recognised as "The Best Bank in The Middle East" by Euromoney Magazine and was voted "One of the Top 50 Safest Banks in the World" by Global Finance Magazine in 2013.
The stake of 12.5% includes the current outstanding ordinary shares and the conversion of QNB's convertible preference shares.