News: The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar has acquired a stake in US financing company the Bank Of America, according to MarketWatch. The fund has built up a holding worth approximately US$1bn in the bank, after the fund first began buying shares in the firm in 2011. The fund's entire stake reportedly accounts for less than 1% of all issued shares in the bank.
BMI View: The GCC will remain the outperformer across MENA's banking sector over the coming years. Whilst the GCC will experience a slowdown as the effects of government stimulus wear off, the outlook remains noticeably brighter than the rest of the region. We highlight Qatar and Saudi Arabia as key growth countries. Elsewhere, political risks in Iran and Libya will weigh heavily on the countries' growth potential.