Qatar's official news agency says the country's sovereign wealth fund plans to raise its stakes in domestic banks under a previously announced financial support programme.
The energy-rich Gulf nation has outlined plans for the Qatar Investment Authority to buy up to 20 per cent of struggling banks as the global financial crisis roiled the region.
A statement carried on Monday on the Qatar News Agency says the investment fund has already bought 10 per cent stakes in the banks, and plans to double that during the first quarter of this year.
Qatar's government is eager to shield the tiny emirate's economy. The country is rapidly building infrastructure and diversifying its economy while preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.