August 10, 2009 / 10:55 AM / 10 years ago

QNB Syria unit $37 mln IPO oversubscribed -source

DUBAI, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The Syrian unit of Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA (QNB) has raised at least 1.7 billion Syrian pounds ($37 million) through a public offering that is closing on Monday evening, a person close to the matter said.

QNB on June 30 said it aimed to raise 1.7 billion Syrian pounds by selling a 34 percent stake in its Syrian unit. The shares are offered to Syrian private investors at 500 pounds a share in an IPO running from July 12 to Aug. 10.

“We don’t have the final numbers yet, but we have already reached our target amount,” the person said, adding: “It is oversubscribed”.

The IPO comes at a time when Syria is further opening up its financial system to foreign investors. It also reflects the growing appetite of Syrian investors to inject money in foreign entities.

QNB was not immediately available to comment.

With headquarters in Damascus, the unit is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year, offering retail, corporate, investment and private banking services. It plans to open two locations in Damascus in the first year of operation, followed by additional branches in the years after.

QNB said its subsidiary would play a key role in promoting Qatari investment in Syria.

Damascus-based Pioneers Syria is managing the IPO. ($1=46.05 Syrian Pound) (Reporting by Nicolas Parasie; editing by John Irish and Jon Loades-Carter)

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