File - QNB's Headquarters on Al Corniche in Doha, Qatar, May 5, 2013. (Wikipedia/Trinidade)
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Major Arab banks with money to spend are expanding across the Middle East in markets such as Egypt and Iraq, as they take advantage of a retreat from some areas by international rivals, senior Arab bankers say.Since 2011, some global banks have downsized some of their businesses in the region to cut costs, help shore up capital and focus on their core markets, while competition from local banks has intensified.Qatar National Bank, for instance, extended its regional reach by acquiring stakes in various banks, including Libya's Bank of Commerce and Development, as well as increasing its shareholding in Iraq's Mansour Bank and in the Tunisian-Qatari Bank.Jordan's Capital Bank has built a 70 percent stake in National Bank of Iraq and its Chairman Bassem al-Salem said locally based banks were getting better at competing with international lenders in local markets.
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