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GCC banks lose out on Libya licence

12 August 2010

UAE-based Mashreq and Emirates NBD and Qatar Islamic Bank have lost their bids for a licence to operate in Libya, but analysts expect them to continue their search for growth away from their home bases, Reuters has reported. The three lenders had been shortlisted for a licence, but only Italy's UniCredit won preliminary approval to open a subsidiary in a decision announced by the Central Bank of Libya on August 9. "Contrary to previously advised intentions, they will only be issuing one new licence," John Iossifidis, Mashreq's head of international banking said. "The bank remains committed to its strategic expansion plans across the region," he said.

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