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Albaraka gets S&P's stable outlook

Manama, June 7, 2009

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has reaffirmed Albaraka Banking Group's (ABG's) investment grade rating of BBB- / A-3 (short term) with a stable outlook.

ABG is a Bahraini joint stock company listed on Bahrain and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges.

'The reaffirmation of ABG's rating is a significant achievement especially during these times of economic recession in the region and in the world,' board of directors chairman Shaikh Saleh Abdulla Al Kamel said.

'This indicates the financial strength of ABG as an institution and its ability to weather the adverse effects of the present conditions thanks to its strategies, its able executive management team at the head office and in all its subsidiaries.'

'I am sure that the announcement will be received well by the markets as this further endorses that ABG is an institution that is strong and is on the move towards expanding its presence in the different markets as well as entering new ones,' he noted.

ABG president and chief executive Adnan Ahmed Yousif said he was extremely pleased with the outcome of the rating review of S&P which has confirmed the efficacy of ABG's strategies during these turbulent times, of maintaining a high level of liquidity, following conservative policies of credit and risk management and effecting cautious yet opportunistic expansion in markets.

He thanked the executive management team and at the various subsidiaries for supporting him in this endeavour.

He added that the reaffirmation of the rating gives ABG the impetus to pursue its expansion policies in markets that welcome Islamic banking.

ABG offers retail, corporate and investment banking and treasury services strictly in accordance with principles of the Sharia. The authorised capital of ABG is $1.5 billion, while total equity amounts to about $1.57 billion.

'The latest development in the progress of ABG is the expansion into Syria by way of the formation of Albaraka Bank, Syria. We will shortly announce the launch of an initial public offering for $100 million to invite the public investors in Syria to participate with us in this attractive venture,' Yousif said.

'Another important project this year is the launch of a new corporate identity for ABG across the various markets we operate in. Once conditions are conducive, we plan to effect a cautious expansion policy - we intend to open 59 new branches in Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey and Pakistan.

'The year 2009 has witnessed an encouraging start for ABG with net profits of $43m for the first quarter of the year, an increase of 5.1 per cent when compared to the fourth quarter last year.'

'The total assets of the group as of March 31 were $11 billion with increases in customer deposits and other accounts. The shareholders equity amounted to $1.52bn as of the end of March,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Albaraka Banking Group | S&P | stable outlook |

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