IBQ to issue up to $750 mln in bonds in late 2012
* Bank to issue up to $750 million in bonds late next year-MD
* Move part of strategy to increase long-term debt
* Will seek credit rating in early 2012
DOHA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) plans to issue up to $750 million in bonds late next year as part of a strategy to increase long-term debt on its balance sheets, the bank's managing director said on Monday.
The bank will also seek a credit rating in early 2012, Managing Director George Nasra said.
"IBQ plans to sell up to $750 million in bonds in the second half of next year. This is part of the bank's long term strategy for growth. We want to increase the long-term debt on our balance sheets. We will also be seeking credit rating early next year," Nasra said.
IBQ said in August it had sold its Islamic banking retail operations to Qatar's Barwa Bank, the first sale of an Islamic portfolio since Qatar's surprise edict banning conventional banks from offering Islamic banking services.
In February Qatar's central bank ordered conventional banks to stop offering Islamic banking services by year-end. Lenders have until Dec. 31 to comply.
IBQ is 30 percent owned by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) , Kuwait's largest lender. (Reporting By Regan Doherty)