News New York-based Global Finance Magazine has published a ranking of safest Islamic banks in the GCC based on credit ratings assigned by Fitch, Moody's and S&P. Al-Rajhi tops the list, based on its A+ ratings from all three agencies. Abu Dhabi-based Al-Hilal Bank ranks second, with A+ ratings from Fitch and Moody's (the bank is not rated by S&P). In third place is Kuwait Finance House, with has A+ ratings from Fitch and Moody's, but an A- from S&P. Global Finance Magazine identifies 25 wholly Islamic banks in the GCC, representing about one third of all active commercial banks. Ni...
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
News The Board of the Arab Bankers Association elected Abdulaziz Al-Khereiji, Chief Manager of Riyad Bank's London branch, as its Chairman, replacing Hani Kablawi of BNY Mellon. Samer Hijazi, a Director of KPMG's Financial Services Audit practice, was elected Treasurerv will replace Duncan Steele-Bodger, of Emirates NBD. Fawzi Dajani, the Managing Director of National Bank of Kuwait (International) plc, will serve as Vice Chairman. Vivien Davies, a partner in the Edwin Coe LLP, continues as Company Secretary. George Kanaan continues as Chief Executive Officer. The elections were made at the ABA...
12/02/14 Arab Banker Magazine Re-launched
News The Arab Banker magazine was re-launched on 16 September 2013. It has 84 pages, all in full colour. Three thousand copies were distributed in the U.K. and throughout the Middle East. Copies were also distributed at the Joint Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington D.C. and through the Arab Bankers Association of North America. The magazine contains features on Lebanon's Blom Bank and the Kuwait Investment Office, and a series of articles analysing London's position as a centre for Arab banking and finance. There are interviews with Dr. Mohammed Baasiri of the Cent...
News SICO, the Bahrain-based Investment Bank, favours Qatari banks over UAE banks, and believes that Saudi banks continue to display robust fundamentals that make them a good medium-to-long term investment. In its GCC Bank Strategy report for the first quarter of 2014, published on 29 January, SICO names its "high conviction" stocks as Samba Financial Group, Saudi British Bank, Doha Bank, Qatar National Bank and Union National Bank. The report says that UAE banks have been trading at an average 70% discount to Qatari banks in recent years but this gap has been closing. As a result,...
10/02/14 Ernst & Young's Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report Identifies Key Growth Markets and Provides a Wealth of Data
News Ernst & Young's Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report for 2013-2014 identifies five "high potential" markets for Islamic finance: Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Malaysia, Qatar and Turkey are markets with significant opportunities to increase Islamic assets as a proportion of total banking activity -- in all of those countries Islamic assets have a market share of less than 25% (and less than 10% in Turkey and Indonesia), the report says. In contrast, Islamic assets already account for more than 50% of banking assets in Saudi Arabia, but Ernst & Young b...