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

Tue December 2 2014 - Tue December 2 2014
Seminar on Financial Regulation and Conduct

Events , ABA Events The seminar will focus on the role of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its expectations for banks operating in the U.K. The seminar will address in particular regulatory requirements for Arab, Islamic and other overseas banks operating in the United Kingdom. Speakers from the FCA will be: William Amos, Director of the Wholesale Banking and Investment Management Division Julia Hoggart, Head of Department, Investment Banks Mr. Colin Derby, a Senior Manager at KPMG, will speak about how banks can ensure that they are meeting the FCA's requirements. The seminar will be moderated b...

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08/09/14  Qatar Real Estate Prices in Line with Fundamentals, QNB report says

News The Central Bank of Qatar's Real Estate Price Index (REPI) shows that real estate prices increased by 21.5% during the first six months of 2014 and now stand 20% above the peak seen in September 2008. The index is 326% ahead of the levels seen when it was inaugurated in 2006. Yet prices remain in line with what one would expect, given the rapid economic growth and the growth in population over the same period, says Qatar National Bank's Economics department. The bank argues that real estate prices should remain roughly in line with two fundamental indicators: a "base effect" (increase in ...

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08/09/14  QNB acquires 23.5% of Togo-based Ecobank

News Qatar National Bank's stake was accumulated in two stages. QNB announced on 4 September that it had acquired 12.5% through the purchase of  ordinary shares and the conversion of existing convertible preference shares; and then it announced on 15 September that it had acquired a further 11% through additional share purchases.  QNB said that the stake had been funded from its existing resources. QNB is now Ecobank's biggest shareholder. Ecobank had assets of $23.4bn at the end of June 2014 and generated profits of $255mn in the first half. It has 1,241 branches and 20,114 employee...

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01/09/14  New Analysis of Saudi population and "Saudization"

News Ali Aissaoui, Senior Consultant to APICORP and a recognised expert on Middle East economic and energy-related issues, has published a Special Commentary on Saudi population trends, focussing in particular on the Saudi government's efforts to "Saudize" the workforce and reduce reliance on foreign workers. The two-page Commentary begins by analysing the Saudi Ministry of Labour's statistical report for 2013 that was released in August this year. The report provides figures on the Saudi population (30mn of whom 20.3mn are foreign workers), levels of unemployment (11.7% among Saudis, officiall...

Tue January 27 2015 - Wed January 28 2015
Manajim: Middle East Mining and Minerals Investment Forum

Events , Partner Events MANAJIM, the Annual Middle East Mining and Investment Forum will be held in London on 27-28 January. The forum is aimed at investors and financiers doing business with mining companies in the Middle East. More information can be seen on the event website manajimevent.com or by contacting Pamela Marenco, Business Development Officer for Symexco at pamela.marenco@symexco.com