Islamic Bank Awards 2011: By Country

Country Awards


Al Salam Bank-Algeria

Al Salam Bank-Algeria was established in October 2008 with capital of $100 million. New rules on Islamic banking in Algeria became effective in January 2011 and are expected to promote the growth of the industry. Algeria is the third country after Bahrain and Sudan with Al Salam Bank operations. Al Salam Bank-Bahrain raised $7 billion in its initial public offering in 2006, when it sold a 35% stake to the public.

Hussain Hamed Hassan, chairman



Bahrain Islamic Bank

Bahrain Islamic Bank was established as a shariah-compliant bank in 1979. The bank posted a 25% increase in earnings in the first quarter of 2011, as revenue from fees and commissions nearly quadrupled from the same period a year earlier. Bahrain Islamic Bank postponed a rights issue in March due to unsettled market conditions, but shareholders have agreed to a 75% capital increase to be completed by the end of June. Bahrain is a regional center for Islamic finance in the Middle East.

Mohammed Ebrahim Mohammed, CEO



Islami Bank Bangladesh

Islami Bank Bangladesh, established in 1983, operates in one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. The bank’s earnings after tax and zakat (charitable donations) rose 32% last year compared with 2009. Islami Bank, based in Dhaka, handles 28% of the country’s total remittances from overseas. It operates a network of 58 ATMs in Bangladesh, which it plans to expand rapidly across the country, in addition to the hundreds of ATMs it shares with other banks.

Mohammad Abdul Mannan, managing director



Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is Brunei’s largest financial institution, with a market share of 25%. In March 2011, Fajr Capital, an investment firm based in Dubai, became a minority investor with management responsibilities. Islamic financial services represent approximately 40% of the Brunei market. In addition to the Brunei government and the sultan’s charitable foundation, BIBD has 6,000 individual investors in Brunei.

Pehin Dato Hj Yahya Bakar, chairman


Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt

Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt opened in 1979 as the first Islamic bank in the country and remains the market leader. It offers online banking, mutual funds and card services. The future of Islamic finance in Egypt could depend to a large extent on the showing by the Muslim Brotherhood in parliamentary elections in September. Islamic banking was restricted under the Mubarak administration and accounts for a small percentage of Egypt’s banking assets. If encouraged by Egypt’s new government, Islamic finance could expand rapidly.

Prince Mohammed Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman


Bank Muamalat Indonesia

Bank Muamalat Indonesia, the country’s first Islamic bank, controls approximately one-third of the Islamic banking market in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Bank Muamalat plans to quadruple its holdings of sukuk this year, targeting sovereign issues from Malaysia and Indonesia. Sales of sukuk increased by 56% in Indonesia last year. The country is considering the issuance of dollar-denominated Islamic bonds, as well as shariah-compliant project financing for infrastructure projects.

Arviyan Arifin, president director



Jordan Islamic Bank

Jordan Islamic Bank, a member of Bahrain-based Al Baraka, is one of the world’s largest Islamic retail banks. It is getting some more competition in Jordan, with the entrance of Saudi Arabia–based Al Rahji Bank in March 2011. Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank and Islamic International Arab Bank are also helping to make Jordan a regional hub for Islamic finance. Jordan Islamic Bank’s deposits grew by 21.6% last year to $3.3 billion.

Musa Shihadeh, CEO and general manager



Al Hilal Islamic Bank

Al Hilal Islamic Bank, the first commercial Islamic bank in Kazakhstan, is a subsidiary of Al Hilal Bank, based in the United Arab Emirates and owned by the Abu Dhabi government. The Kazakhstan bank was formed in March 2010, shortly after a new law governing Islamic finance was introduced in the country. The bank recently conducted a series of seminars in Almaty and Astana to enhance public awareness of Islamic finance.

Mohamed Jamil Berro, CEO



Kuwait Finance House

Kuwait Finance House, the country’s leading Islamic lender, accounts for more than 25% of the total deposits in Kuwaiti banks, and it has a 35% share of the bank cards market. KFH is the leading bank in consumer and real estate financing. It offers services and products to 30,000 Kuwaiti families, as well as a range of commercial and supplier credits for an additional 5,000 business customers. The bank takes its community service seriously and is opening 15 emergency medical centers in Kuwait. It also funds the training of medical personnel in the treatment of diabetes.

Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Omar, CEO


Arab Finance House

Arab Finance House, founded by Qatar Islamic Bank in 2004 with $100 million of capital, is the largest Islamic bank in Lebanon. It offers a full range of retail and corporate Islamic banking products. AFH is offering a shariah-compliant ijarah fund, known as Bader 7, in the suburbs of Paris, where commercial and industrial buildings are purchased and leased to triple-A-rated international corporations. The bank is also involved in a real estate investment project in collaboration with Khaleeji Commercial Bank in the suburbs of New Delhi, where it is developing a 500-acre plot of land.

Nabil Osman, acting general manager


CIMB Islamic

CIMB Islamic is the world’s leading sukuk arranger, as well as a regional leader in Islamic finance. It offers investment banking, asset management and consumer banking products. Its 323 Islamic bank branches in Malaysia are housed within the bank’s conventional banking branches. The bank also offers shariah-compliant banking in hundreds of other branches throughout Southeast Asia. In September 2010, CIMB Islamic introduced ijarah property financing, whereby the bank leases the property to the customer and turns it over to the customer once the financing is completed. This option was already in use for non-residential premises.

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, executive director and CEO


Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank was the first Islamic bank in Pakistan, founded in 2002, and remains its largest, with a network of 222 branches in 63 cities. In addition, Al Meezan Investment Management is the largest private-sector asset management company in Pakistan. The bank’s earnings rose 60% in 2010 and its deposits increased by 31%. Meezan Bank is 49% owned by Noor Financial Investment, based in Kuwait, and 30% by a joint venture between the governments of Pakistan and Kuwait. A significant development in 2010 was the ijarah sukuk issued by the government of Pakistan in two tranches. Meezan Bank was the largest participant in both issues.

Irfan Siddiqui, president and CEO


Qatar Islamic Bank

Qatar Islamic Bank, established in 1982, is the largest Islamic bank in Qatar, with a 50% share of the country’s shariah-compliant banking assets. The bank has 27 branches and more than 100 ATMs. Its earnings rose 7% in the first quarter of 2011 from the same period a year earlier, and its assets increased by 25.6%. Qatar Islamic Bank is a joint venture partner in Doha Festival City, a $1.65 billion entertainment, retail and commercial project that broke ground in April 2011. The bank’s largest shareholder is the Qatar Investment Authority.

Ahmad Meshari, acting CEO and general manager,

domestic business group

Saudi Arabia


Falcom is an innovative, shariah-compliant financial services provider with a long list of firsts in the Saudi market. It offered the first sukuk fund in October 2007. The Falcom 30, comprising Saudi equities, was the first shariah-compliant ETF in the MENA region. It debuted in March 2010. The Falcom Petrochemical ETF and the Falcom Arab Market Fund followed. Falcom’s shariah index was the first to be licensed by Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange. Petrochemical shares are the most active sector of the Saudi market, accounting for about 20% of trading. “Our investment banking group was also active in 2010, handling two IPOs in a market that did not see too much activity,” says Adeeb Al-Sowailim, Falcom’s CEO. “Our brand has gained the trust and confidence of our clients.”

“Our investment banking group [handled] two IPOs in a market that did not see too much activity”

“Our brand has gained the trust and confidence of our clients” Adeeb Al-Sowailim, Falcom

Adeeb Al-Sowailim, CEO



Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation has a network of more than 500 branches and representative offices in 15 countries. Its shariah-compliant Al-Amin Bank offers savings accounts that pay hibah, a gift in the form of a dividend given at the sole discretion of the bank. OCBC Malaysia plans to open five Al-Amin Islamic finance branches and four conventional branches this year, adding to its five Islamic and 29 conventional branches. OCBC’s opened its first Islamic branch in Brunei in 2005.

David Conner, CEO

South Africa

Absa Islamic Banking

Absa, South Africa’s largest retail lender, which is a subsidiary of Barclays, launched Absa Islamic Banking in 2006. The bank already offers a wide range of shariah-compliant banking products and plans to offer Islamic mortgages as soon as the government introduces new tax rules. Islamic banking products are available at all of Absa’s 750 branches nationwide. In November 2010, Absa introduced a vehicle and asset finance takaful product that assists clients who cannot pay their installments for legitimate reasons, such as being laid off. South Africa is seeking to position itself as a hub for Islamic financing in Africa.

Maria Ramos, group CEO Amman Muhammad, managing director


Al Salam Bank

Al Salam Bank-Sudan has grown rapidly since it was established in 2005. It earned $14.5 million after taxes and zakat (charitable donations) in 2010, an increase of 60% from a year earlier. The bank’s assets increased by 23% to $505 million by the end of 2010, and its deposits grew by 25% last year. The bank is a subsidiary of Al Salam Bank, based in Bahrain.

Hussein Mohamed Salim Almeeza, vice chairman and managing director


Kuveyt Turk

Participation bank Kuveyt Turk, which is 62% owned by Kuwait Finance House, has been innovative in the Turkish Islamic finance market. The bank recently introduced the first shariah-compliant gold investment fund on the Istanbul bourse, and its customers will soon be able to buy gold coins from ATM machines. Kuveyt Turk also arranged the first sukuk issue in Turkey through Liquidity Management House, a KFH subsidiary. Turkey changed its financial regulations so that no withholding tax will be imposed on five-year or longer maturity shariah-compliant issues.

Ufuk Uyan, general manager

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was incorporated in 1997 as the first Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi and now has 66 branches and more than 425,000 customers. It has recently been promoting the concept that banking should be simple and sensible and is promising to work for the mutual benefit of all its stakeholders. ADIB is one of the most liquid banks in the UAE. Its deposits grew by 17.2% last year. In September 2010, ADIB led the Islamic tranche of the $1.1 billion project financing for Emirates Steel Industries’ expansion. In February 2011, it closed a syndicated Islamic financing deal for Emirates National Plastic Industries.

Tirad Mahmoud, CEO

United Kingdom

HSBC Amanah

UK-based HSBC created the Amanah brand in 1998 with the aim of making the global bank the leading provider of shariah-compliant banking products and services worldwide.

HSBC Amanah Securities Services, established in March 2011, plans to offer custody services in 17 markets including the US, Bermuda and Brazil. In July 2010, HSBC opened its first dedicated Islamic banking branch in Qatar. Meanwhile, the UK remains committed to providing a level playing field for Islamic finance. HSBC Amanah offers a range of services for the UK’s Muslim community, including home financing.

Mukhtar Hussain, global CEO

United States

Devon Bank

Chicago-based Devon Bank is one of a handful of banks in the US offering shariah-compliant financing options. The bank offers Islamic banking in 38 states and plans to expand it nationwide. Established in 1945, Devon Bank offers a wide range of commercial and personal banking products, including Islamic mortgages, which account for 75% of its mortgage business. The bank has taken the lead locally in promoting environmental causes. Its Wheeling, Illinois, branch is the first green bank building in the Greater Chicago area.

Richard Loundy, chairman