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The Middle East's biggest bank by assets expects that profit will increase 5 percent to 7 percent this year, CEO Ali al-Kuwari said in an interview. QNB will continue to diversify earnings by targeting Southeast Asia, while focusing on its main markets in Qatar, Egypt and Turkey, he said.Another challenge is for QNB to maintain an efficiency ratio of 29 percent, he said.The lender was able to boost deposits in 2017, with most of the new funding in dollars, Kuwari said. The bank will continue to seek funding from around the world and still has more than half of a $17.5 billion bond program available that it can tap if needed, he said.
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