IIB starts AmrahBank conversion
Manama, September 14, 2009
Bahrain-based International Investment Bank (IIB) has started the conversion of AmrahBank, a conventional retail bank based in Azerbaijan, to a Sharia-compliant bank.
The conversion initiative follows the recent rebranding exercise, which aims to provide AmrahBank a new visual identity.
McCann Erickson, a global branding agency, has been appointed to accomplish the rebranding.
IIB and its co-investors acquired a 49 per cent equity stake in AmrahBank in April last year.
Following the acquisition, IIB appointed Ernst & Young - Bahrain to manage a smooth conversion, ensuring that the new image of the bank is based on strong fundamentals of Islamic principles.
Extensive training programmes are also being provided by IIB and Ernst & Young - Bahrain to the executive management of AmrahBank.
The cost of turning the bank into a Sharia-compliant institution is expected to exceed $2 million.
'One of the principal investment thesis of IIB was the conversion of the bank based in a CIS country with a huge Muslim population,' said IIB chief executive officer Aabed Al Zeera.
'The current penetration of Sharia-compliant banking in Azerbaijan is very limited.
'Thus, IIB and its partners believe that the conversion will attract the custom of a large section of the Azeri society desirous of conducting financial transactions in accordance with Sharia principles.
'IIB is also working jointly with Amrahbank on a Sharia-compliant fund to capitalise on the growing retail and corporate sectors of Azerbaijan.'-TradeArabia News Service