A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Arab Bankers’ Association!

We are an association of bankers and finance professionals who work in Arab financial markets. Most of our members, both corporate and individual, are based in the U.K. but a significant proportion are based outside. Nearly all of us have spent much of our professional lives living and working in the Arab world.

Our aims are simple: to foster improved relations, information sharing and understanding between the private and public sectors in the Arab world and the U.K. We achieve this through our programme of evening seminars and social events, through tailored events for individual members and their clients, and through personal interaction and introductions that are based on decades of business experience.

You will find more information about our work on the various pages of this website. For example, elsewhere on this page you can download a copy of our Annual Magazine; on the “Events” page you can download presentations given at recent evening seminars; and soon we will be adding a new page to our website -- “Arab Banking News” – where you will see a brief round-up of recent events that are relevant to our membership.

The “Join” page also contains a full list of member benefits.

This is an exciting time for Arab banks and their subsidiaries and affiliates in London. Gulf banks are looking to expand their international operations, banks in Egypt and other north African countries are finding their footing after the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, and debt issuance across the region is increasing.

London hosts the largest and most important banking community in Europe, so its not surprising that it is in London that many of the innovative new financial structures that are shaping Arab finance are designed and sold.

The ABA has been serving and promoting Arab banking in London for more than 30 years and we are as enthusiastic and committed to our mission today as we were on the day we were founded. If you are a member, I look forward to working alongside you in the months ahead. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider joining us.

George E. Kanaan Chief Executive Officer

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20/10/14  NCB Publishes IPO Prospectus; Opens IPO

News Saudi Arabia's biggest bank, National Commercial Bank (NCB) opened the Arab world's biggest ever IPO on 19 October. The offer will run until 2 November. The Saudi government's Public Investment Fund will reduce its stake in NCB by 25%, and this amount will be taken up by Saudi Nationals (15%) and the Public Pension Agency (10%).  The IPO went ahead despite a 10% fall in the value of the Tadawul, the Saudi stock market, in the week preceding the issue. The Tadawul remains about 10% up since 1 January but has ceded most of the gains that it made since July, when the Saudi Capital Marke...

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20/10/14  Corporate Members' Lunch: Lewis Silkin on Employment, Visas and Data Protection

Events , ABA Events The briefing took place on 17 October over lunch at the ABA's offices in Upper Grosvenor Street.  Andrew Osborne, Christopher Hitchins and Jonathan Carr, all partners with Lewis Silkin, addressed three main issues: how employers should respond to discrimination claims brought against them by employees, the recent changes to the UK's investor visa scheme (announced the day before the lunch!) and conditions recently attached to employment visas, and how companies can ensure that they are complying with the provisions of the UK's laws on data protection and bribery, and how they can e...

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02/10/14  NBK Sells its Stake in International Bank of Qatar

News National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said that it was selling its investment in International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) because it was not able to increase its 30% holding into a controlling stake. NBK bought 20% of IBQ in 2004 and raised this to 30% in 2007. NBK had a management contract with the bank. The gain of $87mn will be seen in the bank's 2014 accounts. (NBK reported net profits of $893mn for 2013.)  NBK's Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer said that NBK's investment in IBQ had been very successful, that the Qatar remains an important market for the bank, but that NBK's strategic focus is on hav...

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02/10/14  Egypt: New Chairman at Banque Misr, Other Bank Chairmen Reappointed

News At the end of September, the Governor of Egypt's Central Bank, Hisham Ramez, re-appointed the Chairmen and leading figures of several state-owned banks, with the exception of Banque Misr, whose long-standing Chairman, Mohammed Barakat, is expected to become Chairman of another bank. Although Egyptian state-owned banks are legally owned by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry has delegated its management of the banks to the Central Bank.  Banque Misr: Mohammed al-Atrabi will become the Chairman with effect from 1 January 2015, replacing Mohammed Barakat. The current Deputy Chairman, ...

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02/10/14  Eid Mubarak!

News Eid al-Adha commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice is son Ismail in sumbission to God's command. God intervened at the last moment to prevent Ismail's sacrifice and gave Abraham a lamb to take his place.