Qatar National Bank (QNB) Group on Saturday announced it had acquired of a 49 percent stake in Libya\'s Bank of Commerce and Development. The Benghazi-based bank approved QNB Group as a strategic partner, according to a memorandum of agreement signed between the two institutions. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group CEO, said the move was in line with the company\'s strategic \"plan of international expansion in selected and promising markets\". Jamal Abdelmalek, chairman of The Bank of Commerce and Development, said the agreement would result in an \"increase in the bank\'s capital, which will support its financial position and its ability to expand in the Libyan market\". The Bank of Commerce and Development was established in 1995 and has a network of 32 branches supported by 82 ATMs, with nearly 820 staff. The bank\'s total assets are $2bn. Under the deal, QNB Group will provide administrative and technical services for the operations of the Bank of Commerce and Development. QNB Group achieved strong financial results for the first quarter of 2012 with a net profit of QR2bn, up by 17.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Total assets increased by 28.2 percent since 31 March 2011 to reach QR311.1bn, the highest ever achieved by the Group. QNB, which employs nearly 7,000 staff, provides banking services through 335 branches and offices with an ATM network of more than 650 machines.