The Syrian unit of Qatar National Bank (QNB) said on Saturday a 1.7 billion Syrian pounds ($36.9 million) initial public offering was oversubscribed 1.7 times.

The public offering eventually raised 4.6 billion Syrian pounds through the oversubscription of the 3.4 million shares available, amounting to a total of 9.1 million shares applied for, QNB-Syria said in a statement.

QNB on June 30 said it aimed to raise 1.7 billion Syrian pounds by selling a 34 percent stake in its Syrian unit. The shares are offered to Syrian private investors at 500 pounds a share in an IPO that started on July 12.

A source told Reuters on Aug. 10, the last day in a near-month-long subscription period, that the offering was oversubscribed.

The IPO comes at a time when Syria is further opening up its financial system to foreign investors. It also reflects the growing appetite of Syrian investors to inject money in foreign entities.

With headquarters in Damascus, the unit is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year, offering retail, corporate, investment and private banking services. It plans to open two locations in Damascus in the first year of operation, followed by additional branches in the years after.

QNB said its subsidiary would play a key role in promoting Qatari investment in Syria.

 (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Victoria Main)