Islamic Banking consolidates in Pakistan

Ppi April 26, 2010

MANAMA: Albaraka Islamic Bank (ABIB), a subsidiary of the Bahrain-based Al baraka Banking Group (ABG), and Emirates Global Islamic Bank (EGIB) will merge their branches in Pakistan.

The merger will lead to their combined assets to rise to $582 million with a network of 89 branches covering cities and towns in Pakistan. This is in comparison to Meezan bank, the largest Islamic bank in Pakistan, whose assets are around $1.44 billion. Obtaining necessary approvals from regulatory authorities and official bodies in Bahrain and Pakistan is presently under way. Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of Albaraka group, said that the merger between the two banks reflected the group’s strategy to expand in the Pakistani market. It is a part of its strategy to strengthen its presence and operations in promising Islamic markets.

The merger will create value-addition not just for the merged financial institutions, but also for the banking and financial market in Pakistan which is considered to be a key market. Khalid Al-Zayani, chairman of Al- Baraka Islamic Bank, said that the new bank would be named Al baraka Bank Pakistan and would be managed by ABG Group. He hoped that this would enable the bank to play a leading role in the Pakistani banking market and provide a full range of Islamic banking services.

He added that the operations of ABIB in Pakistan had achieved excellent results during the past years. “This requires that we continue efforts to achieve further expansion in these operations given the huge size of the Pakistani market. “We are confident that this merger will benefit the shareholders of both banks as well as the Pakistani economy,” said president and chief executive of ABG, Adnan Ahmed Yousif. “Our merger with the branches of ABIB in Pakistan falls within our goals for expansion in the Pakistani market by consolidating the expertise and resources of two of the most important financial institutions in Pakistan,” said the president, clearly exaggerating the worth of the two banks merging.

It would be supported by the extensive resources and expertise of the well established parent company ABG and its 12 subsidiary banking units in various parts of the world, as well as a solid and wide presence in the Pakistani market. The two banks’ shareholders are committed to this merger he said and were willing to help in any way possible. This prepares them for meeting the challenges of the future by taking a sure and firm step by the establishment of an Islamic bank between them capable of meeting the needs of growth and expansion in this Muslim country.

The bank has 29 branches in different cities of Pakistan It currently has 29 branches that offer all types of Islamic banking products and services, which in turn had earned the bank a high standing in Pakistan and the trust of Pakistani businessmen and investors.The operations of ABIB in Pakistan dates back to 1991. PPI


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