Qatar’s QNB Said to Hire McKinsey to Advise on Egypt Bank Growth

Mar 31, 2014 12:01 pm ET

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Qatar National Bank, the nation’s largest lender, hired McKinsey & Co. to help formulate a strategy for its Egyptian business as it seeks to boost operations, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is helping the state-controlled lender devise a five-year plan for Qatar National Bank Alahly, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. QNB is working to increase profitability and market share in Egypt, according to one of the people.

QNB bought 97 percent of the lender in March last year from Societe Generale SA for $2.45 billion. The Doha-based bank is seeking to expand in Egypt, a country with a population 40-times greater than Qatar’s, even as relations between the two nations deteriorate after the military-backed overthrow of Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood government last July.

QNB Alahly’s loan growth was 9.6 percent last year, the second-biggest among Egyptian lenders, after rising 2.3 percent in 2012. Net income rose 16 percent, the biggest gain since 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while assets rose 21 percent, the third-highest rate in Egypt after Societe Arabe Internationale de Banque and Union National Bank.

Qatar, which backed Mursi, has criticized Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood while Egypt accuses Qatar of providing sanctuary to Islamists wanted by its judiciary.

An official at QNB didn’t immediately return an e-mail and phone call seeking comment. A call to McKinsey’s offices in London after hours wasn’t immediately returned.