Shamil-Ithmaar revamp 'to create bigger bank'
Manama, October 26, 2009
The comprehensive reorganisation of Bahrain's leading banks Ithmaar and Shamil will see the two pooling in their resources, expertise and in-house knowhow to create a single, more powerful bank, said a top Shamil Bank official.
Shamil Bank chairman Shaikh Mohamed Abdulla Al Anqari on Monday welcomed the proposed plans for a comprehensive Ithmaar-Shamil reorganisation announced by the Ithmaar Bank chairman last week.
The reorganisation, Al Anqari said, will see both banks pooling in their resources to create a single, more efficient and significantly stronger retail-focused Islamic bank with a bigger, more solid capital base under the Ithmaar brand.
“Although the proposed plans will see the Shamil Bank Brand replaced by the Ithmaar Bank brand, they will, for all practical purposes, effectively expand Shamil into a bigger, stronger bank that will operate under the Ithmaar brand,” pointed out Al Anqari.
“This will bring immediate benefits to our shareholders, our customers, our investors and, by extension, Bahrain’s banking and finance industry,” he added.
'The reorganization will be seamless and there will be no change, whatsoever, in customer, depositor or investor accounts or relationships. Instead, we will continue to offer the same award-winning products and services that were offered by Shamil, as well as introduce additional new products and services, under the Ithmaar Bank brand,' he stated.
'The boards of both Shamil and Ithmaar have repeatedly stressed that our focus, from the outset of global financial crisis, has shifted to protecting our individual balance sheets and the interests of our shareholders, our investors and our depositors.'
'It is a position we have maintained throughout the crisis – and it has paid off, for both banks, with positive end of year results for 2008,”said Al Anqari. “This strategy has continued to work well, for both Ithmaar and Shamil, this year,” he added.
“In 2008, we launched a new business line, international banking, to focus up on servicing large government institutions in the GCC and Mena regions,” said Shaikh Al Anqari. “The introduction of international banking is an integral part of our strategic plan and has since opened up tremendous new opportunities with particularly low risk clients,” he said.
“The proposed reorganisation plans will contribute, significantly, to further bolstering the capital and balance sheet of the Bank,” said Shamil Bank chief executive Faisal Al Alwan.
“This will also contribute to further improving liquidity, lowering the risk profile and enhancing shareholder value by amplifying already existing synergies. Consequently, Ithmaar Bank will be in an ideal position to best capitalise on the business opportunities that are now being created,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service