Qatar National Bank (QNB) expects to start operations in Syria this year as part of plans to expand in the Middle East using a "cautious approach", its chairman said.
"We will continue to expand in the region and other selected markets even as we adopt a cautious approach," Chairman Youssef Kamal said.
Qatar's biggest bank by market value aimed to boost foreign operations' share of profit to as much as 30 per cent within five years, its CEO said last year. The bank owns stakes in Jordan's Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, the UAE's Commercial International Bank and Tunisia-Qatari bank.
The bank's fourth-quarter profit missed analysts expectations, falling 0.8 per cent.
QNB said yesterday its shareholders approved to pay 75 per cent in cash dividend and 25 per cent bonus shares. Shareholders also approved a 25 per cent capital increase through bonus shares.