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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29/03/16  Update on Egyptian Devaluation & Interest Rate Moves

News The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) took markets by surprise with a 14% devaluation of the Egyptian pound on 14 March. The new rate was $1 = EgP 8.85. At the same time, the Central Bank announced that it would be taking a 'more flexible' approach to managing the exchange rate and that it would target international reserves of $25 billion during 2016. (CBE press release 14 March.) Reserves were $16.5 billion at the end of February, according to Central Bank figures. On 17 March the Central Bank increased its overnight deposit rate by 1.5% to 10.75% and its overnight lending rate by the same amo...

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29/03/16  China's Economic Slowdown, Perceptions and Reality: Guest Article

News Chinese Banks Remain Strong Despite Economic Headwinds By Stephen Timewell* Perceptions and reality can be two very different things. A clear understanding of current economic problems in China depends on what data is being assessed and who is making the assessment. The rate of growth in the world’s second largest economy has been slowing for a number of years, but the rate of growth and its importance, both for China and the global economy, is argued about incessantly and worries can be seen by some as exaggerated. In March, Moody’s, the US rating agency, revised its outloo...

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18/03/16  Ratings on GCC states under pressure as oil price stays low

News Rating agencies have been reviewing and in several cases downgrading the ratings of GCC states as a result of the sustained fall in oil prices. Bahrain has lost its investment grade rating from Moody’s and from S&P while Fitch has its BBB- rating on Bahrain on a negative outlook. (BBB is the lowest investment grade rating.) Oman has been downgraded three notches by S&P and now sits at BBB-, albeit with a stable outlook. Moody’s has Oman at A3 after a two notch downgrade, with the new rating on watch for further downgrades. Kuwait, Qatar and the emirate of Abu Dhabi hav...

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Fri February 26 2016 - Fri February 26 2016
Arab bankers in London meet with PRA officials to discuss current regulatory issues

Events , ABA Events Twenty eight senior bankers from 21 Arab bank branches and subsidiaries in London met with three officials from the UK's Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) at the ABA's offices on 26 February. This was the second such meeting that the ABA has organised between London-based Arab bankers and UK bank regulators. The meeting lasted two hours. Key issues discussed included: The transition to new liquidity monitoring that will entail the PRA relying more on liquidity supervision conducted by banks' home supervisors, The implementation of the Capital Conservation Buffer and its relation to...

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25/02/16  Assessing the prospects for nuclear energy in the Middle East

News A new research paper by Dr. Carole Nakhle provides a good summary of the issues and challenges that will shape the use of nuclear energy in the Middle East. Several nuclear power plants are scheduled to begin operations in the region over the next decade. They include the UAE’s Barakah project that will start generating electricity in 2017 and will provide about a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs when complete in 2020. Saudi Arabia plans to have its first reactor generating electricity by 2022 and to have 16 nuclear plants operating by 2032, generating 15% of its electric...