(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The shareholders of Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) has given their nod to the bank to increase its foreign ownership limit from the existing 25 percent to 49 percent of the bank's listed shares.
The change allows the bank to open up to international investors and increase the liquidity of the bank's share.
"Al Khaliji has reviewed its foreign ownership caps to qualify for inclusion in the MSCI index once Qatar will be upgraded to emerging market status," Hamad bin Faisal bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman and Managing Director, said here yesterday after the bank's Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General assembly (EGA).
The meetings endorsed the Board recommendation to distribute cash dividends of 10 percent of the bank's paid-up capital, that is QR1 per share.
Addressing the AGM, Hamad bin Faisal said: "We are in the midst of an unprecedented structural growth story that will transform the face of Qatar. The large capital expenditures associated with the country's infrastructure sector will be the key driver of loan growth in the banking sector for the foreseeable future".
"The prospects for al khaliji, as a Qatar centric organisation, are equally promising. In late 2012, we established a clear goal in our 2013-2015 Strategy - to be a unique specialist bank with a smart way of competing in relevant banking markets. This transparent process provides our stakeholders with confidence in the long-term returns available as we continue to support the economic growth agenda of Qatar," he said.
"As 2013 was the initial year in the bank's three-year road map it was important for us to prioritise and deliver on certain objectives to ensure we are well positioned to continue to build scale in our clearly defined market segments. Understanding the customer perspective is key and spending wisely in appropriate areas to build special relationships with our customers are important. There is ample evidence that we have made significant progress on the course we set," he said.
The chairman noted that the innovative spirit of the bank has been positively recognised and in 2013. Al khaliji has received the coveted titles, 'Best Premium Bank Service Award', the 'Best-Structured Product' and the 'Best Premium Bank in the Middle East' by the Middle East Banker Awards. Another instance of al khaliji's excellence is evidenced by the mandated lead arranger market in the MENA. 2013 was the first time al khaliji featured as one of the Top 10 amongst all banks in the region for syndications.