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Friday, 27 July 2007

Investment Dar Bank: a new Islamic investment bank established in Bahrain

The establishment of Investment Dar Bank was today announced in the Kingdom of Bahrain - a new Islamic investment bank with an authorized capital of USD1 billion, with subscribed and paid-up capital of USD200 million. Shareholders consist of a group from the private sector including Islamic financial institutions and individual with vast experience in the Islamic financial industry. The establishment assembly meeting of Investment Dar Bank was held on Thursday July 26th, 2007, (12 Rajab 1428 Hijri). The meeting was attended by the bank shareholders, along with representatives of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Trade and Industry from the Kingdom of Bahrain. The goals of establishing an Islamic bank. On this occasion, Mr. Abdullatif A. Janahi, Chairman of Investment Dar Bank, said that the founders of the bank are Islamic institutions and skilled individuals with extensive experience in Islamic financial Industry. They realized the importance of Islamic banks and its mission in helping humanity. Janahi stressed that the Islamic banking system is developing and can make contributions to achieve sustainable growth anywhere in the world. Central banks worldwide sensed the importance of Islamic banking and the vital role they play, so they facilitated and encouraged the establishment of such banks. Consequently, Islamic banks now are present on the five continents of our world. Recently global financial centers gave special attention to Islamic financial industry by granting licenses for these financial institutions to operate. In Britain, for instance, there is an increase in the number of Islamic banks and conventional banks offering Islamic financial services, including senior British banks with a global reputation such as HSBC, as well as Lloyds TSB and others. "Research has shown that three quarters of Muslims would prefer to deal with Islamic banks. For example, there are a large number of companies now owned by Muslims in Britain, as many as up to 100,000. Many of these companies want to convert to Islamic banking transactions, as indicated in the research. Islamic financial services attract non-Muslims in Islamic countries and non-Muslim countries," Janahi added. From this perspective we see that the number of Islamic banks is not enough to deliver financial services to the potential Islamic market in the GCC, as the number of Islamic banks form 10% of the number of conventional banks. It is essential for us to make Islamic banking services available to the public and to develop these services to be active and comprehensive and support real economic activity in the country, at the same time working closely and harmoniously with the global financial system in order to provide better growth rates and monetary stability worldwide. Over the past ten years, the assets of Islamic banks have grown at a rate of between 10 to 15 per cent and are expected to continue at a similar growth rate, which makes us expect that Islamic bank assets will reach USD 4.8 trillion by 2015, guaranteeing that we would feel the need for the required growth in the number of Islamic banks, and readiness with banking expertise which would provide the latest in the world of Islamic finance, so as to coexist and compete efficiently with the global banking industry. Thanks and appreciation to the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain: Adnan Abdul Qader Al Musallam, Chairman and Managing Director of Investment Dar Company, said, "The foundation of Investment Dar bank in the Kingdom of Bahrain comes as a result of our expansion strategy to grow geographically worldwide and particularly in the Arab world. Establishing the Investment Dar bank is another initiative to expand our business in the banking sector, especially since Investment Dar company owns more than 40% of Bahrain Islamic Bank, and 12.5% of Sham Bank in Syria. Mr. Al Musallam added, “Investment Dar Bank in Bahrain is an investment bank which will focus on offering world class investment bank services and transaction advice, in contrast to Bahrain Islamic Bank, which is a commercially based bank offering individuals financial services in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Mr. Al Musallam expressed deep appreciation and thanks to each of those who contributed to the founding of the Investment Dar Bank, the government of Bahrain, and His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain Kingdom, for his contribution in support of the Islamic Finance industry in the region, and thanked the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Trade Industry for their support. Bahrain venue is the most appropriate location for Investment Dar Bank: Regarding the selection of Bahrain Kingdom as headquarters for Investment Dar Bank, Mr. Abdullatif A. Janahi, Chairman of Investment Dar Bank, said, “The founders of Investment Dar Bank studied the requirements of the Islamic banking sector in a number of Arab and Islamic states. They were very pleased to select Bahrain as the headquarter for Investment Dar Bank for many reasons mentioned earlier by many specialists and I do not want to repeat it. But I would like to focus on the Central Bank of Bahrain’s initiatives to improve, progress and develop the Islamic banking sector by forming a legal and supervisory environment which builds confidence in the investors. The Central Bank is also employing professionals who understand fully the technicalities of Islamic banking. For these and other reasons, Bahrain outweighs others as center for this Islamic banking”. Founders of Investment Dar Bank - Bahrain: Mr. Abdullatif A. Janahi emphasized that Founders of Investment Dar Bank wanted the bank to be born strong, with most of the founders being senior Islamic financial institutions with strong records of successes. For example, Investment Dar Company, based in Kuwait owns 31% of the capital of the bank and manages an estimated USD 15 billion in associated projects and assets. It is worth noting the quality of the Founders’ backgrounds, as they come from diverse sectors of investment and are specialized in several areas, such as investment, finance retail, real estate and hotel development, project management, consulting and finance management, amongst others. In addition to these financial institution relationships, it owns shares in commercial banks, insurance companies and other miscellaneous investments, beside that, the board of this bank include figures who are pioneers in the Islamic banking work and the experience of each of them extends to three decades, which is the age of Islamic banks in our world, and they have come to supervisory and executive positions in several financial institutions, and they have successful records of innovation in this industry. Part of the investment map of Investment Dar Bank: Mr. Abdullatif A. Janahi said, “It is not a secret to share with you the investment bank strategy, as there is no doubt that there are investments in the region to impose themselves on the banking market, such as investing in real estate, the stock market and other common investments, but the board of Investment Dar – Bahrain believe that any investment must achieve deeper economic goals and not just follow the speculation and competition of the market. When investing, the bank must also consider how its investment will make a contribution to solving social issues such as unemployment and generating greater national incomes. This will only be possible with evolutionary thinking, and this what the bank will pursue. Mr. Janahi confirmed that the Investment Dar Bank board of directors stressed the need to strive to encourage capital investment in various sectors such as industry, agriculture, privatization, with particular attention to the service industry and co-operation with the public sector to diversify national income sources and enhance the role of the private sector in promoting development. Mr. Janahi concluded that he was confident that the Investment Dar Bank will play an effective role in the Gulf, Arab, Islamic and international community, as a locally established bank with regional orientation and global range. - (Al Bawaba, 26 July 07)

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