DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) could spend around 45 percent of the firm's 1.6 billion Qatari riyals ($439.8 million) of paid-up capital on acquisitions, to grow its business across sectors, its chairman said on Tuesday.
The bank has an authorized capital of 3.6 billion riyals.
"We have three deals in the pipeline," Abdulla bin Fahd Al Marri told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit. "I think by the end of our first year we might be reaching about 45 pct of our capital spent on deals."
QFIB, a Shariah-compliant bank based in Qatar and regulated by its financial center, launched operations in March this year. The bank's shareholders are 60 percent Qatari and 40 percent from the Gulf Arab region, comprising high net worth individuals and government institutions.
Marri said the bank will focus its investment activities on the energy, property, financial, healthcare and industrial sectors.
Among the deals the banks is reviewing is the acquisition of a controlling stake in a large regional company, said Marri, adding he hoped to conclude the deal in two to three weeks.
"We are reviewing a deal in the industrial sector; buying over 70 percent of a company that owns seven factories in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)," he said.
"It's a very good company ... going through expansion and because of the crisis that became a little difficult. They were looking for a new investor so we seized the opportunity."
Other upcoming acquisitions include a joint deal in Turkey with a Gulf Arab sovereign wealth fund to buy a stake in an "established" services company.
The bank is also eyeing a deal in the healthcare sector in the Levant region (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestinian territories), which could be announced by the end of this year or early 2010, Marri said.
For the first two years of operation, Marri said the bank will focus on the Gulf Arab, Middle East and North Africa regions as well as Turkey, which could serve as a gateway into central Asia.
"Central Asia is very important; it's a virgin market. Central Asia has a lot of opportunities we believe, especially in the basic industries," Marri said.
($1=3.638 Qatari Riyals)
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