The new shares will be issued to existing shareholders in the bank at a ratio of one new share for every eight shares currently held.

A second capital raising will occur in April 2008 when the bank will issue one new share for every 10 shares held at the time.

In total the bank, which is 50 per cent owned by the government of Qatar, will raise $1.39bn from existing shareholders to fund its plans to expand across the GCC. The bank recently paid nearly $200m for a stake in Jordan’s Housing Bank for Trade and Finance.